UVA Rallies To Knock Off South Florida

Virginia Head Coach Tina Thompson

Courtesy UVA Sports Media Relations

The Virginia women’s basketball team rallied for a 74-67 victory over South Florida on Friday at the World Class Basketball Florida Sunshine Classic Tournament at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. The Cavalier junior guard tandem of Jocelyn Willoughby and Dominique Toussaint led the team in scoring with Willoughby contributing 23 points and Toussaint 18.

Senior forward Mone Jones (Durham, N.C.) grabbed 10 rebounds to lead all players. USF (9-4) had four players finish the game in double figures, led by Laura Ferreira with 17. Virginia shot 41.9 percent (26-of-62) while South Florida shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61). Virginia held a 42-34 edge in rebounding.

Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) opened the game by hitting a three-pointer, but South Florida scored the next 13 points of the game, building up a 12-point advantage in the first quarter and taking a 40-27 lead into halftime. The Cavaliers (5-7) mounted an 11-0 run in the third quarter to narrow the gap to two, 45-43, with Toussaint scoring six of those points. A pair of free throws from Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) gave Virginia its first lead since the opening minute, 52-51, with 8:05 remaining in the game.

After the two teams traded baskets and traded leads on trips up and down the court, the game was tied 62-62 with 3:42 remaining. Toussaint hit a jumper, followed by an and-one from Willoughby to give UVA a 67-62 advantage with 2:48 remaining. The Bulls pulled to within two in the final two minutes, but a steal by Toussaint followed by an offensive rebound by Willoughby to set Toussaint up for a layup pushed momentum in the Cavaliers’ favor. UVA made six free throws in the final 40 seconds of the game to seal the victory.

South Florida opened the game making eight of its first 10 shots and shot 64.7 percent in the first quarter, and added a 12-2 run in the second. USF’s largest lead was a 15-point advantage with 2:55 remaining in the second period. The Bulls did not hit a field goal in the final 3:42 of the game.

Virginia’s 29 points in the fourth quarter was the highest single-quarter total for the team this year. Willoughby started the game 5-of-7 shooting, scoring 13 points in her first 11 minutes on the court. Toussaint, who scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half, going 4-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line, had six assists, her fifth time this season dishing out five or more assists in a game. Jones’ 10 rebounds matched her career high. It was her second double-digit rebounding game of the year. 

Virginia concludes its non-conference slate by hosting Charlotte at John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.



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