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Eagles clip Cavaliers late, 69-65

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The Virginia women’s basketball team travelled to Chestnut Hill, Mass. for Thursday night’s matchup against Boston College having won four of five games, including Sunday’s 37-point trouncing of Clemson. The Cavaliers, however, stumbled against the struggling Eagles, losing 69-65 after blowing a 15-point second half lead and coming up just short in a last-minute comeback.

Virginia (12-11, 5-5 ACC) led 55-46 with 8:21 to play after senior guard Ataira Franklin’s lay-up, but Boston College (12-12, 3-7 ACC) scored the game’s next 11 points as the Cavaliers went without making a field goal until freshman forward Sydney Umeri scored in close with 3:38 to go.

The Eagles, who had lost five consecutive games, appeared to be in control after junior guard Lauren Engeln hit a free throw, giving her team a five-point cushion with 34 seconds remaining. Franklin got Virginia back in the running with a three-pointer nine seconds later, closing the gap to 65-62, and the Cavaliers fouled freshman guard Kelly Hughes after a Boston College timeout, resulting in a pair of missed free throws. But the Eagles managed to pull down the ensuing rebound, and junior forward Kat Cooper hit 1-of-2 from the line for a four-point lead.

Franklin knocked down another three-pointer with 11 seconds on the clock to cut Boston College’s lead to one, 66-65. Hughes stepped up to the line again, this time sinking both of her attempts. Down three, Virginia turned the ball over on its last offensive possession.

Hughes led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-9 from deep, while Franklin paced Virginia with 15 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Lexie Gerson added 14 points, six assists and five steals, boosting her ACC-best thefts total to 30 through 10 conference games.

Virginia returns to the court against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. next Thursday after a bye-week.

—compiled by Matthew Morris


Published February 6, 2014 in Sports

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