Virginia Tops Coppin State

By Kipperly Tidball

The Virginia women’s basketball team achieved a needed 55-41 win against Coppin State University on Sunday afternoon, ending a three-game losing streak.

“I’m really happy for our team,” Virginia coach Tina Thompson said. “We needed to get a win for overall morale. I thought that we went out and executed our offense today.”

Scoring and assists were well-balanced across the board, with junior guard Dominique Toussaint leading the charge with 14 points. Sophomore guard Khyasia Caldwell notched a career-high 11 points, followed by senior forward Moné Jones and junior guard Jocelyn Willoughby grabbing 9 points apiece.

Every Cavalier who played minutes managed to put numbers on the board.

“I think it’s the way it has to be,” said Thompson of the output. “We have to get contributions from every person who touches the floor on our team. I don’t think that it’s something that we wrote out or is our plan. It’s just a necessity for us. We are a limited roster with injuries. We have a lot to make up for. It is a must for us to have contribution from everyone.”

CSU won the tip off and controlled the first three and a half minutes with a 4-0 run. However, the Cavaliers would answer back with making six of nine shots during the remainder of the period with Coppin State going 2-of-10.

Six of those Virginia shots were made by six different Cavaliers, beginning with a 3-point jump shot from Sophomore Brianna Tinsley, assisted by junior Lisa Jablonowski.

Jablonowski laid in a beautiful two points resulting in a 1-point lead. CSU was able to respond with their own 3-point shot, taking the lead for the last time.

Toussaint hit a 2-point jumper outside the paint before the first media time out, tying the game 7-7.

When the clock began again with 3:58 remaining in the period, it was Willoughby’s turn to hit three with Jablonowski earning another assist. There would be no more lead changes in the game. Virginia went on to score four more points from Jones and Caldwell before the end of the first period, leaving Virginia with a 14-9 lead.

UVa scored 14 points to Coppin State’s seven in the second period, highlighted by a 7-0 run. The Cavaliers also held CSU to a scoring drought lasting over four minutes. The first half ended in a score of 28-16.

Virginia was able to mount a game-high 18-point lead in the third period after junior forward Shakyna Payne drew a foul on a successful layup and turned it into a 3-point play. Payne would go on to score five of her seven points during the third period.

CSU managed to fight back in the fourth, outscoring UVa 12-10, making seven second-chance points.

The Cavaliers still managed to end the game with a 14-point lead in spite of a total 17 turnovers compared to seven made by CSU.

On a more positive note, UVa blocked 10 shots, a season high, compared to only one blocked shot by Coppin State. The Cavaliers also acquired 50 rebounds, 36 of which were defensive. CSU produced 41 rebounds, 19 of which were defensive.

Coach Thompson shared, “There were a few too many turnovers for our liking and we gave up too many offensive rebounds. However, we were aware that this team was very aggressive on the boards, we could definitely do a better job boxing out. Overall, it led to a win and we are happy about that.”

Willoughby shined with a career-high 14 rebounds. Caldwell accomplished a perfect five of five field goals.

In the end, Virginia shot 21 for 52 (40.4 percent) from the field, while CSU shot 14 for 71 (19.7 percent).

“It always feels good to win,” Thompson admitted. “We definitely don’t go in with the intention to lose games, so for us to get a win helps with team morale. It helps in the confidence of our team when they see the things we are talking and preaching about every day in practice coming to fruition.

“When they see those shots go in and how our offense can be executed we see how we can cash in and finish on that. Today we were able to do that. So, it is definitely something that we can draw from.”

The Cavaliers have two more home games this week. Wednesday, they will take on American University at 7 p.m, while Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. they will play Radford University.


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