Cavaliers let second-half lead slip away in 58-55 loss to Wake

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia let its 15-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter, as Wake Forest came from behind to knock off the Cavaliers, 58-55, in the first round of the 2024 Ally ACC Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum Wednesday night.

The Demon Deacons (7-24) outscored UVA 23-9 in the fourth quarter after the Cavaliers managed only one field goal nine minutes into the period.

UVA (15-15) was led by Camryn Taylor (18 points, 8 for 14 FG, 5 rebounds) and Kymora Johnson (15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists).

With her third assist of the game, Johnson set the UVA freshman assists record, surpassing Sharneé Zoll’s 2005 record of 157 assists. Johnson now has 162 total assists on the season.

Wake Forest’s Elise Williams scored a game-high 25 points on 5-of-14 shooting and sunk 12 of her 14 attempts at the free-throw line.


Virginia never trailed in the opening quarter. The Cavaliers assisted on all five of their makes from the field, two of which were from reserves Edessa Noyan and London Clarkson. There were four tied scores in the first.

Taylor bookended scoring for the Hoos after making a layup with 14 seconds left, but the Deacons countered with a layup of their own with one tick on the clock.

Wake claimed its first lead of the game on the first made basket of the second quarter. A 7-0 run by the Hoos later in the period, which was highlighted by a made 3-pointer from Olivia McGhee, flipped the score once again.

Then, the Deacs embarked on an 8-0 run to take a 23-20 lead. Wake led 25-23 at the break after both teams combined to miss their last five shots of the half.

The Cavaliers claimed the first seven points of the second half to reclaim a five-point lead. Shortly thereafter, UVA put together a 16-4 run, which was capped by back-to-back makes from Johnson, to grasp its largest lead of the game [46-31] with 1:18 left in the period.

Williams sunk four free throws in the final minute of the third as the Hoos clung to a 46-35 lead entering the fourth.

Noyan nabbed a second-chance layup at the 8:00 mark of the fourth, but it was Virginia’s only made field goal for the next 7:51 seconds of game time.

After the Noyan make, the Deacs orchestrated a 20-1 run to take the lead for good. Wake led by as many as eight points [57-49] with 18 seconds remaining.

Taylor and Johnson both connected on 3s in the waning seconds of play, but ultimately the Hoos ran out of time to mount a comeback of their own. Williams scored 11 of her 25 total points in the fourth.


“[We] didn’t compete. Credit to Wake Forest. They wanted it more, they played well, they’ve got three kids on that team that understand what it takes to make a run in this tournament. And so, we will be better for next year, but we didn’t play our game. We had a great game against Virginia Tech, and we didn’t play well tonight.

“It’s a learning experience at this point. We’re at 15-15, hopefully we’ll get into some kind of postseason tournament. We’re eligible. And if we do, we’ve got to come back out and compete and want it.

“I’m not exactly sure where things went wrong and why we were just not on one accord, not on the same page, but we could not get it together. We did it a little bit in the third, but then we relaxed and they caught up. We’ve got to keep learning and get better.

“Obviously, the future is very bright. We fought this season to get where we were. We’ve had some really good wins. Hopefully the season is not over.

“We’re going to build off of this, learn from this experience and get better. But it’s disappointing because we know what we could have done. Regrets are really hard to live with. If we do get into a postseason tournament, we’ve got to understand this feeling so it doesn’t happen again.”


  • Camryn Taylor (18 pts) has led UVA in scoring in 13 games this season.
  • With her third assist of the game, Kymora Johnson set the UVA freshman assists record. She shattered Sharneé Zoll’s 2005 freshman record of 159 assists.
  • Johnson finished the game with five assists, which gives her 162 on the season.
  • Virginia is now 37-43 all-time in ACC Tournament contests.
  • With the loss, UVA slipped to 71-11 in the all-time series against the Demon Deacons, including 7-4 in the ACC Tournament.