Hoos fight back behind Johnson, Brunelle, but fall against Clemson, 75-69

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, but ultimately came up short in the waning minutes, falling 75-69 to Clemson at John Paul Jones Arena Sunday afternoon. There were seven lead changes, including six in the fourth quarter.

Kymora Johnson and Sam Brunelle tied for a game-high 24 points. Johnson shot 10 of 20 from the field and added five rebounds and eight assists. Brunelle went 9 for 15, including 6 for 11 from 3-point range. Brunelle’s 24 points are a season high, and her six triples tied Johnson’s John Paul Jones Arena single-game record by a Cavalier.

The Tigers (11-12, 3-8) won the rebounding battle, 41-30, which led to 18 second-chance points in their favor. Clemson’s Dayshanette Harris led the Tigers with 23 points and had nine assists. Armari Robinson (19 points, 8 rebounds) and Mackenzie Kramer (13 points) also scored in double figures for the Tigers.


Clemson held a one-point lead [15-14] at the end of the first quarter after shooting 50 percent from the field. The Cavaliers had seven more attempts from the field, but shot just 32 percent and went 0 for 2 at the charity stripe.

Brunelle kicked off the scoring with a 3-pointer before five unanswered points by the Tigers gave them the lead for the rest of the first half.

Clemson scored the first seven points of the second to grasp its then-largest lead of the game, 22-14. Two UVA 3-pointers and five straight points by Johnson trimmed the CU lead back to one, 26-25.

However, the Tigers closed out the first half by scoring seven of the last nine points to lead it 33-27 at the break. Johnson was charged with her third foul with three seconds left in the opening half, but she led the Cavaliers with 12 points at the half. Clemson’s Harris led all scorers with 13 points and had six assists.

Johnson and Brunelle combined for 13 of the Cavaliers’ 17 points in the third. Six of UVA’s seven field gals were assisted. Clemson managed to outscore the Hoos by four points after Harris knocked down five of her six attempts at the line.

The Cavaliers trailed by as many as nine [50-41], but Brunelle connected on a 3-piinter with 1:17 to play to cut it back to a two-possession game. A pair of free throws by Harris followed by a CU layup gave the Tigers a 54-44 lead heading into the fourth.

Cady Pauley (6 pts) came off the bench and stroked back-to-back 3s to cap an 11-0 run by the Hoos to start the fourth. Pauley’s second 3 put UVA up 55-54, which marked its first lead since the first quarter.

There were five more lead changes over the course of the next 3.5 minutes of game play, but the Tigers went up to stay on a layup from Robinson with 3:50 remaining. Clemson led 71-64 at the 1:32 mark, but Brunelle hit back-to-back field goals, one of which was a 3, to cut the Tigers’ lead to 71-69 with 36 seconds left. Fifteen seconds later, Harris made a layup and Edessa Noyan (6 pts) fouled out on the play.

On the ensuing Harris free throw, Clemson secured the offensive rebound, forcing the Cavaliers to foul. Virginia missed its last three attempts from the field with under 10 seconds to play as Clemson tallied its third consecutive win.


On today’s rebounding performance…
“There is no reason why we should have been minus-11 on the boards. Honestly, we’re never in that situation. We just have to commit to that. Rebounding is usually a staple for us and something that we take pride in, and we average 40-41 rebounds a game. In the last two games, we’ve been in the 30s, so we got to get better.”

On today’s atmosphere in JPJ…
“I do want to say [to] the fans…We had 5,000 fans today, so we just appreciate everybody coming out, and we’re going to continue to get better, and we hope that they continue to support us because it makes a difference. Seeing all those faces and butts in seats has been great, so hopefully we can continue to grow the [fanbase].”


  • With 24 points, Kymora Johnson has led the Hoos in scoring in their last six games.
  • Sam Brunelle’s 24 points are a season high and her six made 3s are one shy of the program’s single-game record.
  • Brunelle’s six made 3-pointers also tied Kymora Johnson’s single-game record in John Paul Jones Arena by a Cavalier.
  • Virginia fell to 44-35 in the all-time series, which began in 1978.
  • Sunday’s contest was UVA’s designated Play4Kay game. The Cavaliers donned pink uniforms to show support for the Kay Yao Foundation and the fight against breast cancer and cancer effecting women.


Virginia travels to Boston College on Thursday. Tipoff from Conte Forum is set for 6 p.m. on ACC Network.