Once the ball gets rolling, it can't be stopped.
Lisa Hosac scored 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Virginia women's basketball to an error-filled double overtime victory over Clemson at University Hall last night, 77-74.
The Cavaliers (14-4, 6-1 ACC) have won 10 in a row-a streak that dates back to Dec. 20-and nine consecutive games at home. The win also vaulted Cav Coach Debbie Ryan's squad into a tie for first-place in the ACC following Duke's 80-75 loss to N.C. State last night.
"It was a very emotional game," Ryan said. "Clemson played a great game in every aspect and took us out of our game. We were just so nervous that we weren't playing our game."
The Cavs fell behind by four to the Tigers (11-7, 2-4) in both overtimes but eventually prevailed in the second extra period thanks to clutch free throw shooting and strong defensive rebounding. Virginia converted on 30 of 36 free throws, including eight in overtime. Both Hosac and third-year forward Svetlana Volnaya were perfect from the charity stripe.
In a game that was controlled by Clemson's ferocious zone defense, the Cavaliers triumphed despite turning the ball over 20 times and shooting just 38.9 percent. Volnaya, the Cavs' second-leading scorer, finished only 3-for-12, but Hosac kept Virginia close by consistently drawing loose ball fouls off Tigers' misses.
"Lisa Hosac was just incredible," Ryan said. "Every time I thought the game was slipping away, Lisa would get to the line. She made every single free throw and had an exceptional game."
Clemson sent the game into overtime on a three-point basket with 16.1 seconds left by forward Nuria Forns. After Cav guard Telisha Quarles misfired from 15 feet, Forns had an opportunity to ice the match at the buzzer but missed from long range.
In the first extra stanza, Tigers reserve Erin Batth came out with the hot hand. The junior forward gave Clemson an early 10-point lead off a 14-foot jumper and a sweeping move on the left block against Virginia's interior defense. The Cavaliers came storming back with a lay-in by first-year Schuye LaRue and two free throws by Hosac, but Volnaya threw the ball away when it seemed the Cavs might open a large lead. Minutes later, Tigers guard Angie Cossey drove past Virginia defenders to convert an easy lay-up with 4.9 seconds left that sent the game into a second overtime.
"We were exhausted, frustrated," Cav point guard Renee Robinsonsaid. "We had a lot of mental mistakes."
Virginia fell behind by as many as nine in the second half due to a stifling Clemson trap that frustrated Robinson. With a three-pointer and two made free throws by Volnaya, though, the Cavaliers took a one-point lead-their first of the game-with 10:05 left. LaRue's lay-in from the left block off a Robinson bounce pass extended that lead to eight with only 4:56 to go.
Clemson led 28-21 at the half despite committing 13 turnovers by holding the high scoring Cavs to their lowest first-half output of the season. Virginia averages 76.7 points per game but needed two extra period last night to reach that total.