Devils humble Virginia, 90-55
Duke delivers holistic beatdown; Gerson leads Cavs with 13
The Virginia women’s basketball team suffered its most comprehensive defeat of the year Thursday, falling to No. 3 Duke, 90-55, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Cavaliers (8-9, 1-3 ACC), playing their second top-five opponent in as many games, were outplayed by the Blue Devils (17-1, 4-0 ACC) in seemingly every facet of the game. Duke finished with more rebounds, assists, steals and blocks than Virginia while shooting a torrid 55.9 percent from the field and 45 percent from long range. The Cavaliers shot 22-71 from the floor and 2-15 from distance.
Virginia became the 11th team of the season to lose by 20 points or more against Duke, who played its first game since losing senior point guard Chelsea Gray, a two-time All-American, to a season-ending kneecap fracture. Duke compensated for her absence as a unit, with five Blue Devils scoring in double figures and the team eclipsing its scoring average of 83.5 points.
Senior guard Lexie Gerson finished with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists for Virginia, and sophomore guard Faith Randolph added 13 points and a pair of steals off the bench. Coach Joanne Boyle changed up her recent starting lineup, inserting freshman guard Breyana Mason and junior forward Sarah Beth Barnette for senior guard Ataira Franklin and junior forward Sarah Imovbioh. Imovbioh, who scored nine points and tacked on 12 boards, produced well in her first game as a reserve since last season, while Barnette struggled to get much going against junior forward-center Elizabeth Williams, a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, failing to make a single basket.
Virginia continues its tough slate Sunday, when the team takes on No. 17 Florida State at John Paul Jones Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.