Women’s basketball falls to No. 16 Duke, 55-48

AliyahHulandEl_CourtesyVirginiaAthletics

Senior guard Aliyah Huland El led the team in the opening 10 minutes with seven points.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Virginia women’s basketball traveled to the harsh environment of Cameron Indoor Stadium and experienced a narrow defeat at the hands of No. 16 Duke. The Cavaliers (12-7, 5-1 ACC) jumped out to a quick double-digit advantage but could not hang on and fell 55-48.

After their hot start and a quick 13-2 lead, the Cavaliers ended the first quarter shooting 70 percent from the field and maintained an 18-11 advantage. Senior guard Aliyah Huland El led the team in the opening 10 minutes with seven points.

The Cavaliers’ lead did not last long, as the Blue Devils (14-4, 3-2 ACC) erased the first quarter advantage, holding Virginia to just five points in the second quarter and giving Duke a 24-23 lead at halftime. 

Virginia relied heavily on the long ball in the third quarter, scoring all of its points in the first six minutes of the second half from beyond the arc. 

Both teams worked hard in the final minutes as the score remained close, with sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint hitting big baskets to keep the deficit within range. With just over one minute on the clock, Virginia trailed 49-48.

Although they had  multiple opportunities down the stretch to tie, the Cavaliers failed to capitalize on big three-point shots and Duke drained nearly every big free throw. 

Going 4-6 from the line in the final 30 seconds, the Blue Devils held off the late attempt from Virginia and walked out with a home victory. Virginia had not yet lost in ACC play on the season, and the defeat snapped an eight game winning streak.

The Cavaliers continue ACC play when they take on in-state rival Virginia Tech for a 12:30 p.m. matchup at John Paul Jones Arena next Sunday. 

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