Virginia ekes 69-64 road victory against Lady Deacons
Behind a season-high 23 points from junior guard Ataira Franklin, the Virginia women’s basketball team won its third straight game in a 69-64 road victory against Wake Forest.
The Lady Deacons were hot early, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and staying ahead for much of the first half. Virginia (14-6, 6-3 ACC) was able to keep the game close and eventually broke through to take a 22-21 advantage with less than six minutes remaining in the half.
Wake Forest (10-10, 3-5 ACC) coughed up the ball 14 times in the game’s first 20 minutes and the Cavaliers capitalized, scoring 14 points off the turnovers. The Lady Deacons went scoreless for nearly eight minutes near the end of the first half, and Virginia used a 15-0 run to build a 33-23 lead at the break.
Virginia continued to attack in the second half and was able to extend its lead even further, pushing the score to 51-32 with 11:20 to play. Up 18 points with slightly more than five minutes to play, the Cavalier lead looked insurmountable, but Wake Forest thundered back, cutting the lead to five points with 30 seconds left to play. The Lady Deacons attempted to stretch out the game through fouling, but the Cavaliers nailed their free throws down the stretch and closed out the win.
Franklin had her biggest output of the season with a game-high 23 points, and sophomore forward Sarah Imovbioh added another strong game, scoring seven points and grabbing eight rebounds off the bench. Wake Forest held a 32-27 advantage overall on the boards, becoming only the second Virginia opponent in the last 12 games to outrebound the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers now have a full week of practice before a home game next Sunday against Georgia Tech. Virginia beat the Yellow Jackets 62-51 Jan. 10 in Atlanta.
——compiled by Michael Eilbacher