Snapping a two-game losing streak against ranked opponents, Virginia women’s basketball beat Old Dominion in overtime Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers (3-3, 0-0 ACC) relied on a breakthrough performance by freshman guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas to battle back against the Monarchs (3-1, 0-0 ODAC).
Virginia got off to a slow start in front of the home crowd. Old Dominion took a 5-0 lead early and held it for the majority of the first quarter. With 2:20 left in the quarter, Kornegay-Lucas put her first points on the board, giving the Cavaliers a 6-5 lead. The first quarter ended with the Monarchs out front 9-6.
In the first few minutes of the second quarter, Virginia’s strong defense shined, holding Old Dominion to 0-of-9 shooting. Simultaneously, Kornegay-Lucas initiated one of her many offensive assaults of the game, making a 5-0 run to give Virginia a 13-11 lead with 5:13 to go in the period.
However, Old Dominion continued to hang around and surpass the Cavaliers by halftime. Virginia entered the locker-room down 19-15.
Things got worse for Virginia as the Monarchs opened the second half with a 9-0 run and a 28-17 lead. Over the remaining 5:10 of the third quarter, the Cavaliers made some critical offensive plays through freshman guards Carole Miller and Kornegay-Lucas to narrow the lead by six at 35-29.
In the first minutes of the fourth period, the teams exchanged baskets while Old Dominion maintained a slight lead.
With 2:09 to go, Virginia cut the lead to 43-41 off of a pair of free throws from Kornegay-Lucas. Old Dominion’s junior guard Victoria Morris immediately countered with a three-point jumper to take a five-point lead with under two minutes to go.
The Cavaliers remained calm and made some critical plays down the stretch. With 45 seconds left, Kornegay-Lucas pulled Virginia to within three and set up the play of the game from senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby. Willoughby hit the equalizing three with 12 seconds left on the shot clock to send the game into overtime.
The Cavaliers struck first in overtime with a layup by senior forward Lisa Jablonowski. Virginia expanded on its lead and with 30 seconds left, senior guard Dominique Touassaint’s layup put the score at 53-48.
However, the Monarchs came marching back in the final seconds. A layup and a three-pointer left Old Dominion within one point with 7 seconds on the clock.
Willoughby was immediately fouled in the next possession and made one free throw. With a chance for the Monarchs to tie or take the lead, Kornegay-Lucas made an incredible steal and went to the free throw line. With this play, Virginia sealed the deal.
The Cavaliers shot 33.9 percent from the field. Kornegay-Lucas definitively earned player of the game with a 31-point performance.
“Thank goodness for Kylie,” Coach Tina Thompson said. “Kylie did an awesome job of stepping up and doing what she does, especially for a first-year player. We expect so much from our first-year kids, but Kylie was above and beyond that today. Without the effort that she had today … I don’t think we get back in that game.”
However, Virginia’s turnover woes continue as it allowed 21 points off turnovers on the night. Additionally, while the Cavaliers had a higher field goal percentage, their three-point percentage was just 11.8 percent.
Up next, Virginia hosts the Cavalier Classic Tournament, featuring James Madison, Central Florida and UCLA. The Cavaliers face the Dukes Saturday at 2 p.m. before playing UCLA Sunday at 3:30 p.m..