Nov. 11, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--The Virginia women's basketball team used a big second quarter to defeat Middle Tennessee, 63-51, Friday night (Nov. 11) in the season opener at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
Virginia (1-0) shot 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the floor and finished with 43 rebounds on the night. Middle Tennessee (0-1) shot 34.5 percent (20-of-58) with 39 rebounds. The Cavaliers were 4-of-12 from behind the arc, while MT finished 4-of-22. UVA took advantage of free throw opportunities, making 17-of-25 from the line.
"I was excited to come out with a win," head coach Joanne Boyle said. "It was a good first game for us. We have a lot of young people so as you get the season started, you're just looking for development, chemistry and substitution patterns. I was pleased with how we played tonight. We'll keep working towards things we need to get better at, but overall it was a good win for us."
Three Cavaliers scored double figures, including 16 points and five rebounds from freshman Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) and 13 points and nine rebounds from freshman Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.). Senior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) added 12 points.
After a back and forth first quarter that saw the Blue Raiders gain a 14-11 lead, the Cavaliers turned up the pressure and closed the second quarter on a 15-3 run. The run included seven points by junior Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) and six by Willoughby. UVA outscored Middle Tennessee 22-7 for the quarter and led 33-21 at the half. Huland El finished with nine points to lead Virginia in the first half.
UVA added to its lead to open the second half with a three-pointer by Toussaint followed by an and-one for Mason to lead 39-21. MT cut the lead down to 13, but the Cavaliers hit right back with another three from Toussaint. Virginia took its largest lead of the game, 49-29, on a three for Mason with 4:01 remaining in the third period. The Blue Raiders made a run at the end of the third to reduce the Cavalier advantage to 51-37 heading into the final period.
Virginia opened with the first points of the fourth on a jumper for Willoughby and stretched its lead back up to 18 points with 4:20 remaining in the game. MT closed the game with the final five points as UVA took the win 63-51. The Cavaliers shot 50 percent from the field in the final period.
Freshman Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) made her Cavalier debut going 1-of-3 from the field with four points and four blocks. Fellow freshman Lisa Jablonowski (Ernster, Luxembourg) finished with four points and four rebounds in her first collegiate game.
Virginia will remain at home as it hosts Coppin State on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena.
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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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