Nov. 20, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (4-0, 0-0 ACC) picked up a 62-54 victory over Rutgers (0-4, 0-0 Big Ten) on Sunday (Nov. 20) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
The Cavaliers held a 28-27 lead at halftime and never relinquished the lead after the break, but the Scarlet Knights pulled to within two, 45-43, on a three-pointer from Khadaizha Sanders to start the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers answered with a three-pointer from freshman Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) followed by five-straight points from senior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) to extend the lead to 10, 53-43. Rutgers pulled to within three, 53-50, with four minutes remaining, but back-to-back baskets by the Cavaliers kept the game in UVA's control.
Mason scored a game-high 18 points, including making five free throws in the final 26 seconds, to help lead the Cavaliers to their fourth victory of the season. Junior Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.), who scored 11 points in the first quarter, finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Freshman Lisa Jablonowski (Ernster, Luxenbourg) matched Huland El for the team rebounding lead with six in 13 minutes on the court.
Shrita Parker and Aliyah Jeune led the Scarlet Knights with 14 points apiece.
"I'm just happy to come out with a win," said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. "I thought it was very much one of those grind-out games. We found a way to win. We tried to change up some defenses and we were stuck a little bit offensively until the end of fourth quarter. I thought Lauren [Moses] did a good job of getting some touches at the high post and just driving against the zone there. Breyana, you could tell, she just relaxed in the fourth quarter and Aliyah was shooting the ball pretty well all night. I think we just knocked down some shots and brought them out of the zone. They had to go man towards the end and then we ran some sets to get good looks to the basket the last four minutes"
The third-years got the Cavaliers off to a hot start in the first quarter. Junior Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) scored six of UVA's first nine points and Huland El went 3-of-4 from three point range to finish the quarter with 11 points, helping to stake Virginia to a 22-17 lead. Both offensives faltered in the second quarter, with the two teams combining to score eight points in the first nine minutes of the period. Virginia went 0-of-8 from the field to start the second quarter with the Scarlet Knights taking advantage to slip ahead, 23-22 with five minutes left in the half. A jumper from freshman Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) with three minutes left in the quarter put UVA back into the lead. The Cavaliers went into the locker room with a 28-27 advantage.
Mason scored the first five points of the second half, pushing the UVA advantage to 33-27, but the Cavaliers had a four-minute scoreless spell midway through the period with Rutgers pulling to within one, 33-32. The two teams traded baskets until a three-pointer from Huland El followed by an and-one from Moses gave the Cavaliers a 41-34 lead with 1:07 remaining in the period. Willoughby was fouled while making a three-pointer, converting the free throw to complete a four-point play with 16 seconds remaining, but Rutgers' Khadaizha Sanders hit a three with seven seconds remaining to make it a 45-40 game heading into the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer from Mason gave Virginia a 53-43 lead with 6:26 remaining, but Rutgers went on a 7-0 run, with a three-pointer from Aliyah Jeune making it a 53-50 game with just under four minutes remaining. Back-to-back baskets from freshman Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Huland El extended the lead back to seven, 57-50. Kandiss Barber made a layup for Rutgers with 1:31 remaining. After Willoughby came up with a defensive rebound on a missed jumper by Jeune with 35 seconds remaining, Rutgers began to foul, sending Mason to the line six times in the final 26 seconds of the game, where she went 5-of-6 to seal the victory for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) while Rutgers went 21-of-46 (45.7 percent). UVA outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 32-25.
This was the Cavaliers' last game at John Paul Jones until Friday, December 16 when they host UIC. Virginia will spend Thanksgiving week in Las Vegas, Nevada, taking on St. John's and Nebraska at the South Point Shootout. On Dec. 1, UVA will play at Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge before heading to Bowling Green on Dec. 4 as the last game before breaking for finals.
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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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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