Cavaliers drop one on the road at North Carolina, 78-68

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

virginia women's basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team suffered a 78-68 loss at North Carolina on Thursday at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels (15-6, 5-4 ACC) built up a 28-point lead four minutes into the second half, but the Cavaliers (8-13, 3-7) chipped away at the deficit, it getting it down to a 10-point game in the final minute.

Senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby had her eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Dominique Toussaint scored 16 points with six rebounds. Freshman guard Shemera Williams came off the bench to score 14 points. North Carolina was led by 23 points and 17 rebounds from center Janelle Bailey.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Willoughby made the first basket of the game, hitting a jumper five seconds into the contest, but North Carolina recovered and built up a six-point lead in the first two minutes of play. Virginia was within four on a jumper from Toussaint with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter, but the Tar Heels closed out the period on a 10-1 run to build up a 13-point lead. An 11-2 UNC run in the midst of the second quarter built up a 20-point lead, with a jumper from Williams being the lone Cavalier points during the span. The Tar Heels went into the break leading 43-21.

North Carolina started the second half making its first six field-goal attempts to build up a 56-28 lead. A layup from Willoughby followed by six free throws, including four from senior forward Lisa Jablonowski cut the deficit to 20. Back-to-back layups from Willoughby and Williams extended the Cavalier run out to 12-0 and made it a 56-40 game with 1:47 remaining in the third quarter.

A 7-0 run capped by a jumper from Willoughby with 7:46 remaining in the game narrowed the gap to 12 points, 61-49, with 7:46 remaining. Three 3-pointers from redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi down the stretch and two buckets from freshman guard Carole Miller cut the final deficit to the final 10 points.

FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON

“Everything went wrong in that first half. We did nothing we were supposed to. We are a defensive-minded team, and we just did not guard. Offensively, we took quick shots against a transition team. If you take quick shots, then you are playing into what they want to do, get into transition. We were just rattled,  I guess, at least in the first half.”

“We have to be intentional in trying to get to the basket every opportunity that we had. We could not settle. They were leaving us wide open and giving us those shots for a reason. I told them ‘don’t take the bait’.”

“The moral victories, I am so over it. These need to turn into wins. We need to start the games in the first half the way we finish in the second half.”

NOTES

  • Virginia shot 36.4 percent (24 of 66) while North Carolina shot 47.6 percent (30 of 63)
  • The teams were tied in rebounding at 38
  • Virginia scored 21 points in the first half, and 28 points in the fourth quarter
  • UVA closed out the first quarter on a 1 of 12 shooting stretch and the second quarter making one if its final eight attempts
  • The Cavaliers shot 23.5 percent in the first half (8 of 34) and shot 50 percent (16 of 32) in the second half, including going 10 of 14 in the fourth quarter
  • North Carolina started the game making five of its first six shots and shot 53.3 percent in the first half (16 of 30)
  • North Carolina did not make a field goal for the final 6:12 of the third quarter
  • Virginia was 1 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half and 3 of 7 for the remainder of the game
  • Virginia was 16 of 23 from the free-throw line, after going 2 of 6 in the first quarter
  • Virginia scored 27 points on the fast break while UNC scored 16
  • Toussaint scored Virginia’s first seven points of the third quarter
  • Toi scored nine points in the fourth quarter, going 3 of 3 from 3-point range in the period. She finished the game with 13 points
  • Williams was 8 of 9 from the free-throw line in the game
  • The Tar Heels have won the last 13 meetings in Chapel Hill. UVA’s last road win over UNC was on Jan. 11, 2001

ON THE HORIZON

  • Virginia returns home to host Syracuse on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Syracuse game is the annual Play4Kay game. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to join the team in raising awareness for the fight against women’s cancers

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