Cavaliers Upended by No. 4 Louisville

virginia women's basketballCourtesy UVA Sports Media Relations

The Virginia women’s basketball team suffered a 71-49 loss to No. 4 Louisville on Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena. Junior guard Jocelyn Willoughby led the Cavaliers (10-16, 4-9 ACC) with 16 points and 13 rebounds, reaching the 1,000 career point milestone in the third quarter.

Louisville (24-2, 11-2) had five players finish the game in double figures led by 13 points from Dana Evans. Virginia shot 38.9 percent (21 of 54) while Louisville shot 45.0 percent (27 of 60). Virginia held a 38-27 advantage in rebounding.

The Cavaliers and Cardinals were tied 14-14 at the end of the first quarter. UVA opened the second period on a 10-0 run including a three-pointer from freshman guard Erica Martinsen followed by an and-one from sophomore guard Khyasia Caldwell and a second-chance layup from junior forward Lisa Jablonowski that propelled UVA out to a 24-14 advantage.

The Cavaliers led by seven with two minutes remaining in the first half, but Louisville scored the final two baskets before the break to trim the deficit to 28-25. Louisville opened the second half on a 16-2 run, outscoring the Cavaliers 23-9 in the period to take control of the game. Virginia scored the first four points of the fourth quarter on baskets from Jablonowski and Willoughby, but the Cardinals mounted a 15-0 run in the quarter to cement the victory.

Willoughby scored her 1,000th point with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter. She is the 35th player in program history to reach the milestone. Willoughby has led the team in scoring in each of the last six games and the top rebounder in the last four. She has four-straight double-doubles and five in her last six games.

It was the first time this season Louisville trailed a game at halftime. 25 points was the lowest first half total for the Cardinals this season. Louisville scored 20 points off UVA’s 18 turnovers. UVA scored two points off six Louisville turnovers.

Sunday’s game against Georgia Tech is the final home game of the year for the Cavaliers and will be Senior Day with the on-court ceremony taking place at approximately 2:40 p.m. The Cavaliers’ two fourth-years, Moné Jones and Shakyna Payne, will be honored as well as senior manager Kelly Norfleet. Payne redshirted her freshman season and is a junior on the roster with one year of eligibility remaining, but is a senior academically and will be graduating this May.

Sunday is also the Play4Kay game. Fans are encouraged to joining the players in wearing pink at the game and honoring the legacy of Kay Yow. Sunday is also Alumni Day with 30 former players expected to be in attendance. They will be recognized on the court during halftime and will be available for a postgame on-court autograph session. Hall of Fame head coach Debbie Ryan will also be honored in a special halftime recognition.

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