Dec. 1, 2016
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Virginia women’s basketball team (5-2, 0-0 ACC) fell 69-60 at Northwestern (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten) in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game on Thursday (Dec. 1) at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.
The Cavaliers held a 44-26 lead with 8:02 remaining in the third quarter, but the Wildcats outscored the Cavaliers 43-16 the remainder of the game to come away with the victory. Virginia shot 53.6 percent in the first half, but went 6-of-30 in the second half, including a span on 12 minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters in which UVA did not make a field goal. Despite the cold shooting, the Cavaliers trailed by just six points in the final 25.7 seconds and had a chance to narrow the gap to three as a three-pointer from junior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) swished through the net with 18 seconds remaining, but the basket was whistled off on an illegal screen call. The Wildcats scored the final three points of the game to finish with a nine-point advantage.
“We could not score tonight,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We really struggled against the zone and missed a lot of free throws. We were able to keep it close. They made a huge run to come back and it was a four-point game for a while, but we missed a lot of free throws. It felt like one person missed and it was a snowball effect with everyone else. Those free throws would have given us a little bit of an edge to give us a cushion and that just didn’t happen for us tonight. We had a couple of breakdowns defensively, but we just struggled to score tonight. ”
Northwestern’s Nia Coffey fueled the Wildcats’ comeback, scoring 29 points, including 20 in the second half, with 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots. Virginia had four players finish the game in double figures, led by 16 points from junior forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.). Senior guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) scored 11 points with six assists.
Northwestern led for over six minutes in the opening quarter and held a 20-17 lead a minute into the second quarter. Freshman guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored a fastbreak layup after a steal by Mason that started a 16-2 Virginia run. Moses capped the run with a layup with 3:07 remaining in the half to put the Cavaliers up 33-22. Northwestern scored back-to-back baskets to end the run, but the Cavaliers closed out the period with three-straight baskets from freshman guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.), Moses and junior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) to go into the locker room with a 39-26 lead.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats began chipping away at the Cavaliers lead, including scoring five points on free throws early in the period. A three-pointer from Lydia Rohde cut the UVA lead to 49-39 with 4:02 left in the period. Two more free throws on four attempts followed by a pair of layups extended the Wildcats run out to 9-0 and cut the Virginia lead to 49-45 with 1:15 left in the corner. Virginia had a chance to break the run, but Brown missed a pair of free throws and committed a foul on the rebound after the second, sending Coffey to the free throw line where she converted both. Coffey made a layup with 12 seconds left in the period to tie the game, 49-49.
The Cavaliers missed four free throws in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter while Coffey hit a layup 1:05 into the period to put the Wildcats in the lead. Coffey extended the advantage to six points, 55-49, on a fastbreak layup with 7:22 remaining. Willoughby ended the UVA scoring drought with a pair of free throws with 6:53 remaining. Moses hit the first field goal of the quarter for the Cavaliers with 2:17 left in the game.
Virginia went 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from the free throw line. Northwestern was 16-of-22 (72.7 percent). Virginia held a 35-32 edge in rebounding and committed 18 turnovers to NU’s 19.
The Cavaliers are now 5-5 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, including losing each of their last four.
Next up, UVA will play at Bowling Green on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Cavaliers’ last game before breaking for finals. The Cavaliers return to John Paul Jones on Friday, December 16 when they host UIC at 7 p.m.
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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Director of News Content
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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