ACCWBB in WNIT: Virginia's Season Ends in Round of 16
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (VirginiaSports.com) – The Virginia women’s basketball team’s (18-16, 6-10 ACC) season ended with a 65-57 loss at Hofstra (25-8, 13-5 CAA) in the Round of 16 of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday (March 22) at the Mack Athletic Complex in Hempstead, N.Y.
The game was tied 51-51 with 6:14 remaining, but Hofstra outscored Virginia 14-6 down the stretch to advance to this weekend’s quarterfinal against either Tulane or Florida Gulf Coast. The Cavaliers committed seven turnovers in the fourth period with the Pride scoring 10 fastbreak points off the miscues.
“We had trouble scoring early and Hofstra made a run,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We got down, but then we came back. Just when we got to that point where we made a run in the fourth quarter, we turned the ball over and they were able to stretch the lead back out. At that point we were in an uphill battle and we turned the ball over too many times. We had lapses, but I felt like we had the fight in us to come back. We just kept making mistakes that really cost us. They are a great team and capitalized on them.”
Senior Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) had a double-double in the final game of her collegiate career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) scored a team-high 16 points with nine rebounds.
Aleana Leon led the Pride with 15 points.
Virginia, which was the final ACC team remaining in the tournament, shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) while the Pride went 26-of-54 (48.1 percent). Hofstra made seven three-pointers, including six in the first half, while the Cavaliers were 2-of-11 from beyond the arc. Virginia had a 38-31 edge in rebounding.
Virginia took the first true lead of the game midway through the first period after mounting a 6-0 run, capped by a spinning layup from underneath the hoop by redshirt sophomore guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.), giving UVA a 16-10 lead with 2:46 remaining in the period. The Cavaliers would not score again in the quarter with the Pride scoring 13-straight points, including Jakelle King-Gilchrist banking in a three-pointer at the buzzer, Hofstra’s fourth three of the game. Virginia trailed 23-16 heading into the second period.
The Pride missed their first eight shots of the second quarter and were held scoreless for the first 5:19 while the Cavaliers chipped away at the lead, pulling to with two, 23-21, on an and-one from Randolph, but Hofstra ended the drought with a three-pointer to go up 26-21. Virginia went on a 6-0 run that included four-straight made free throws from Moses to take a 27-26 lead with 2:01 remaining, but Hofstra hit a pair of field goals in the final 1:30 to take a 31-28 lead into the break.
Hofstra charged back onto the court in the second half, making their first three field goal attempts and going on a 7-0 run to push the lead to 38-28 with 8:21 remaining in the third. A three-pointer from junior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) ended the run. Mason added five more points, including an and-one, to pull the Cavaliers to within two, 40-38, before Hofstra scored seven-straight to build back up a 47-38 cushion. The Pride failed to make a basket in the final 3:22 of the period while four points from Randolph and a jumper from just inside the arc from freshman Moné Jones (Durham, N.C.) narrowed the gap to 47-44 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers tied the game, 49-49, on a layup from Moses. After the two teams traded baskets, Hofstra edged out to a 55-51 lead when two-straight steals equated to fastbreak layups on the opposite end. The Pride, which made seven-straight field goal attempts midway through the period, took a 61-53 lead after rattling off a 6-0 run.
Randolph ends her career with 1,346 career points, ranking 17th on the Virginia career points list.
“Faith Randolph has given so much,” Boyle said. “She fights to the end and puts everything into it. She works so much on her game. She was just so much about this team going as far as it could. She has given this program a great four years and I’m happy I got to coach her for that time. I’m really proud of her.”