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Virginia Holds on For a 65-64 Overtime Win Against Georgia Tech

Feb. 2, 2017

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (15-7, 4-5 ACC) picked up a 65-64 victory over Georgia Tech (13-9, 2-7 ACC) in overtime on Thursday (Feb. 2) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers led 49-27 two minutes into the second half and held a 56-43 lead with 8:14 remaining in the game, but Georgia Tech scored 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, tying the game on a layup from Zaire O'Neil with 1:35 remaining. A jumper from junior guard J'Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) gave Virginia a two-point lead heading into the final minute of play, but Zaire sent the game into overtime with a layup in the final seconds.

In the overtime period, Virginia took a 65-64 lead with 17 seconds remaining on a jumper from senior guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.). Georgia Tech had the final possession of the game. Zaire took a desperation jumper with two seconds remaining. The shot was off the mark, but Imani Tilford grabbed the offensive rebound. Tilford was fouled with 0.9 second remaining and went to the line for two shots with her team trailing by one point. She missed both free throws as the Cavaliers held on for the victory.

"I'm really happy to come away with a win tonight," said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. "I give a lot of credit to Georgia Tech. We had a pretty substantial lead and they roared back, fought hard, and took it down to the wire. I'm proud of the girls for fighting through to the bitter end."

Freshman guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) led the Cavaliers with 16 points. Brown came off the bench to pick up the first double-double of her career with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

 

 

O'Neill paced the Yellow Jackets with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Georgia Tech held a 46-39 advantage in rebounding including picking up 21 offensive rebounds. The Yellow Jackets scored 19 second-chance points while the Cavaliers had nine.

Mason scored nine of Virginia's first 11 points, helping stake UVA to an early 11-4 lead. Georgia Tech broke out of a 1-of-9 shooting slump, but Toussaint closed out the period by scoring all eight of UVA's points in the final 2:54 of the period to send Virginia into the second quarter with a 19-14 lead.

Two early three-pointers from junior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) helped the Cavaliers stretch their advantage to 25-18 with 7:17 remaining in the half. A three-pointer from Toussaint highlighted a 12-2 run midway through the second. Virginia went on an 8-0 run late in the period, capped by an offensive rebound and quick jumper from freshman center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) to put UVA up 42-23. The Cavaliers went into halftime with a 44-27 advantage.

Toussaint's second three of the game, with 1:45 into the second half, gave UVA a 22-point lead, 49-27, but Georgia Tech responded with an 8-0 run to make it 49-35 with 4:37 left in the third. Toussaint's trey would be the last bucket of the quarter for the Cavaliers until Mason hit a buzzer-beating layup, a span of 8:14 without a field goal in which UVA went 0-for-10 from the field with three turnovers. The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to just seven before Mason's layup but went into the fourth quarter trailing by nine, 52-43.

The Cavaliers started the fourth quarter strong with a Toussaint layup followed by a pull-up jumper from sophomore forward Moné Jones (Durham, N.C.) to build a 13-point lead, but Georgia Tech mounted a 12-0 run that included capitalizing on back-to-back Virginia offensive fouls and then scoring off of offensive rebounds on its own end. A pair of free throws from Brown temporarily ended the run and gave the Cavaliers a 57-55 lead with 2:50 remaining, but O'Neil made a layup with 1:35 remaining to tie the game. Brown hit a jumper on the next possession, putting Virginia up 59-57. Mason missed a shot with 16 seconds remaining with Katarina Vuckovic grabbing the rebound for the Yellow Jackets. O'Neil scored the game-tying basket with one second remaining.

In the extra period, Virginia took the first lead on a jumper from Brown in the first 30 seconds. Neither team scored again until Imani Tilford converted a layup for Georgia Tech to tie it back up with 1:22 remaining. Freshman guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) put Virginia up 63-61 with just over a minute remaining. A three from Vuckovic 30 seconds later gave Georgia Tech a 64-63 lead until Mason hit what would prove to be the game-winner with 17 seconds remaining.

"They went more to a 1-3-1 defense in the second half," Boyle said. "We didn't struggle with it in the first half, but in the second half we got cold and we weren't making our shots. I thought we got tentative, the ball got stuck on one side of the floor, we didn't move it as well and we weren't as aggressive. They went on huge runs without us scoring at all. Defensively, we just allowed them to get offensive rebound after offensive rebound. We didn't make them work so much, but just gave them second chances. Again, I'm thankful and grateful that we came out of here with a win."

Virginia closes out the current homestand by hosting No. 15 Duke on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 1 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. Sunday's game will be the annual celebration of National Girl's and Women in Sports Day, an event that brings attention to the achievements of female athletes and to issues facing girls and women in sport co-sponsored by the University of Virginia Athletics Department and the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center at UVA. Two-time Olympic Medalist and current Virginia swimmer Leah Smith will be honored in a halftime ceremony and will also sign autographs after the game. The game will also feature a pregame sports festival held in the east end, upper-level concourse of John Paul Jones Arena. The festival will include eight sports stations for youth to visit, including volleyball, lacrosse, field hockey, softball, rowing, golf, basketball and football. The festival will take place from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Youth completing all six stations will receive a complimentary t-shirt. Admission to the festival is free with a game ticket.

Single-game ticket prices for all home games are $10 for Reserved seating, $8 for adult General Admission and $6 for youth (18 & under), senior (60 & over) and UVA faculty/staff General Admission. Fans may purchase home game tickets through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone and in person. The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).

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Jeff White

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jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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