Virginia cruises to 30-point win over Notre Dame

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia women’s basketball team picked up a 90-60 victory over Notre Dame on Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers (8-12, 3-6 ACC) led wire-to-wire, building up a 24-point lead at the half and increasing the advantage for their largest margin of victory this year.

Virginia had four players finish in double figures, led by an 18-point performance from freshman guard Carole Miller. Freshman guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas had a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Sam Brunelle led the Irish with 21 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Virginia scored on its first three possessions, setting an early tone by jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the first minute and a half of the game. A steal and a fast-break layup from Kornegay-Lucas gave UVA a 17-9 lead. UVA led 19-12 heading into the second quarter and then scored the first four points of the period, with a layup from senior guard Dominique Toussaint making it a 23-12 game.

A 3-pointer from Toussaint extended the lead to 26-13 in the midst of a 12-3 run to start the period. Virginia started the quarter making eight of 10 field-goal attempts, including making six straight. An and-one from Toussaint with 1:38 remaining in the half made it a 48-23 advantage. The Cavaliers went into the break leading 53-29.

The Cavaliers’ dominance didn’t wane in the second half. A pull-up jumper from senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby capped an 8-0 run in the third quarter. An and-one from Shemera Williams punctuated a 7-0 run that saw the Cavaliers with a 69-33 lead with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter. Miller scored four points early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead out to 38 points. The Irish (7-13, 2-6) cut the deficit back down to the final 30-point margin.

FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON

“It’s our goal going into every single game to play a complete game. I can’t say enough about how our first-year kids played today. We played with a lot of confidence and also aggression. It’s what we expect of them. They’re in an abnormal circumstance in regard to the fact they’ve been thrown into the fire immediately and we expect so much of them right away. I think we’re kind of getting to that point where, although we played a complete game today, we were kind of building up to this point.

“Even though our last couple of games resulted in losses, how we played overall for three quarters, three quarters and a half we were playing really, really good basketball. Tonight we were able to put a complete game together and it is an example of how we can be from this moment on.

“When you have such a large group of young players, sometimes it’s not enough to just be able to tell them what is possible, sometimes they have to be able to see it. Every time they have been able to see an example of the things that we talk about, they believe it and get better at it. Tonight was really good for us and I’m proud of our team.”

NOTES

  • Virginia shot 47.2 percent (34 of 72) while Notre Dame shot 32.1 percent (18 of 56)
  • Virginia held a 47-35 edge in rebounding
  • Virginia’s 34 points in the second quarter was its most points in a quarter this season and the 53 points in the first half was the most in a half this season
  • Virginia shot 72.2 percent in the second quarter (13 of 18)
  • The 24-point halftime lead was its biggest of the season
  • This was the most points scored by the Cavaliers since a 103-59 victory over Central Connecticut on Nov. 12, 2017
  • The 90 points is tied for the most points scored in an ACC contest this year. Two other teams have also hit the 90-point mark this season, Syracuse against Florida State and NC State against Notre Dame
  • Notre Dame went 1 of 18 from the field in the third quarter, missing 17 consecutive shots
  • Virginia scored 50 points in the paint. Notre Dame had 16
  • This was the first time UVA defeated Notre Dame since the Irish joined the ACC, snapping a seven-game losing streak
  • Miller scored a season-high 18 points, topping her previous best of 10 against CSUN. It was her second double-digit scoring effort of the year
  • Kornegay-Lucas’ double-double was her second of the year. It was the most assists in a game by a Cavalier since Toussaint had 10 against Saint Louis on Nov. 25, 2018
  • Willoughby scored 17 points with 7 rebounds
  • Williams scored 15 points with 6 assists and 6 rebounds
  • Toussaint scored 14 points with 6 assists

ON THE HORIZON

  • The Cavaliers head down to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina (14-5, 5-3 ACC) on Thursday at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ACCNX
  • Virginia returns home to host Syracuse on Sunday, Feb. 2 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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