Women’s basketball defeated by No. 18 Syracuse 67-57 in ACC Tournament

Cavaliers’ season most likely over with second round loss

Junior small forward Jocelyn Willoughby led Virginia with 19 points against Syracuse. Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia women’s basketball team (12-19, 5-11 ACC) lost to No. 18 Syracuse (23-7, 11-5 ACC) 67-57 in the second round of the ACC Tournament Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum. With the loss, the Cavaliers’ season has most likely come to an end.

The Orange went 8-19 from three-point range to defeat the Cavaliers, including three each for junior guard Gabrielle Cooper and senior forward Miranda Drummond, as well as two from sophomore forward Digna Strautmane. 

Junior small forward Jocelyn Willoughby led the Cavaliers in scoring with 19 points, playing all 40 minutes as Virginia only had seven players available. Junior guard Dominique Toussaint added 13 for the Cavaliers.

Virginia scored the first two points of the game on a fastbreak layup by sophomore guard Khyasia Caldwell in the starting lineup for the second-straight game. However, a layup by Syracuse sophomore center Amaya Finklea-Guity and a three-pointer by Cooper with 7:20 remaining in the first quarter put the Orange ahead for the rest of the game.

The Cavaliers trailed by six points at the end of the first quarter, then by 11 points at halftime as Syracuse went on an 8-0 run to close the half behind two three-pointers by Drummond.

A three-pointer by Strautmane with 2:23 to play in the third put the Orange up by 14, their largest lead of the game. Neither team scored for the last 2:09 of the fourth, and Syracuse held a 10-point lead at the end of the game.

Virginia is unlikely to qualify for a postseason tournament, but the Cavaliers will only lose senior forward Moné Jones to graduation next season.

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