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Women’s basketball falls 69-61 to Virginia Tech at home

The Cavaliers drop their second straight matchup due to a late run by the Hokies

<p>Cavalier star senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby had 17 points and six rebounds, but it wasn't enough to down the Hokies.&nbsp;</p>

Cavalier star senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby had 17 points and six rebounds, but it wasn't enough to down the Hokies. 

Virginia could not slow down Virginia Tech in the first meeting between the two rivals this season on Sunday. The Cavaliers (7-11, 2-5 ACC) and Hokies (13-4, 3-3 ACC) traded blows for the entirety of the game before the Hokies were able to shut out the Cavaliers, winning the game on a 14-6 run in the last five minutes of the game. 

Virginia Tech saw five players score in double-digits while Virginia’s guard trio of senior Jocelyn Willoughby, senior Dominique Toussaint and redshirt freshman Amandine Toi combined for 44 of Virginia’s 61 points.

Virginia came out hot in the first half, leading 29-18 at the end of two quarters thanks to a stellar defensive effort. Virginia Tech shot just 28 percent from the field in the half, including just two three pointers on 12 attempts. 

The Cavaliers quickly built up this double digit lead predicating on getting the ball into the paint. Virginia ran its signature motion offense to perfection in the first half, as the Hokies could not clog the driving lanes fast enough to prevent Virginia from gaining an early lead.

Nevertheless, Virginia Tech roared back in the third quarter, scoring 26 points thanks to a turn around on its three-point shots and free throws. The Hokies made three of their six long-range shots in the quarter and connected on seven of their eight free throw attempts, slowly chipping away at the Cavaliers’ lead. 

After Virginia kept the Hokies from taking the lead late in the third quarter, the two teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 44 points with 10 minutes left to play.

After trading baskets for the first five and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 55-55 going into the home stretch. The Hokies rattled off seven quick points, intertwined with a mid-range jumper by Toussaint to notch the game at 62-57 in favor of Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers then missed a pair of three pointers and two free throws as the game went scoreless for almost a minute. As Virginia had to intentionally foul to preserve a comeback opportunity, the Hokies put the game away with four straight made free throws.

Virginia Tech ran the clock out after Willoughby made a jump shot to pull the Cavaliers within single digits. The Hokies improved to 13-4 on the season, winning their third ACC game while Virginia fell to 7-11 with their fifth ACC loss this year.

In addition to the game, Virginia Athletics celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day at John Paul Jones Arena Sunday to bring attention to the achievements of female athletes, as well as discuss the issues facing them. As a part of the event, women’s lacrosse alumna Jennifer Langton — now the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Innovation — was honored for her barrier-breaking career path.

At the pregame celebration, which is co-sponsored by the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center, children had the opportunity to interact with student-athletes and participate in various athletic activities. Additionally, Langton spoke about relying on the Virginia community to overcome serious obstacles and pursue a successful career in sports — an industry generally dominated by men.

Next, Virginia hits the road to face a juggernaut in No. 5 Louisville Thursday. Tip-off at the KFC YUM! Center is set for 8 p.m.


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