Women’s basketball loses to Kentucky

A rough third quarter sunk the Cavaliers

erica-martinsen

Freshman guard Erica Martinsen came off the bench to lead all scorers for the game with 15 points.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia women’s basketball team lost 63-51 on the road against Kentucky Thursday night. 

The Cavaliers (0-2), who turned the ball over 23 times in their season opener against then-No 6. Mississippi State, had an even harder time against the Kentucky (3-0) press, committing 32 turnovers, including 10 by junior guard Dominique Toussaint. Kentucky scored 32 points off Virginia turnovers.

The Wildcats missed their first seven shots of the game, as Virginia jumped out to an early lead. Kentucky attempted 37 shots in the first half, while the Cavaliers took only 14.

Kentucky eventually recovered and led 21-20 following a low-scoring first half. Junior center Felicia Aiyeotan led the Cavaliers in first-half scoring with 6 points and rebounds with eight. Aiyeotan would finish the game with 13 rebounds, after grabbing 16 against Mississippi State.

Despite this tight affair at halftime, a huge third quarter push — which began with a 12-2 run by the Wildcats — helped the Wildcats to take a commanding lead. Virginia was outscored in the quarter 23-12. 

With 2:04 remaining in the game, Toussaint made a three-pointer to narrow the Kentucky lead to 10 points. Then, with 51 seconds remaining, a three-pointer by Virginia junior forward Jocelyn Willoughby made it a single-digit game. However, the Wildcats hung on for the 63-51 win.

Freshman guard Erica Martinsen came off the bench to lead all scorers for the game with 15 points, shooting 6 of 10 from the field with three three-pointers. Willoughby was Virginia’s second-leading scorer with nine points, also adding seven rebounds. Toussaint played the full 40 minutes for the Cavaliers but shot 2-8 from the field with five points. 

Senior guard Taylor Murray was Kentucky’s leading scorer with 12 points. Freshman guard Rhyne Howard and junior guard Jaida Roper each chipped in 11 for the Wildcats.

The Cavaliers next play Sunday afternoon at Old Dominion. That game will tip off at 2 p.m. Virginia returns home to John Paul Jones Arena to take on North Carolina A&T Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.

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