For the first time since 1997, the Virginia women’s basketball team started the season 6-0. UVA overcame a poor evening of shooting and another slow start to record a 62-41 win over Campbell on Wednesday night at the John Paul Jones Arena to remain unbeaten in the season.
Neither team was effective at the offensive end of the floor and this trend started early in the game. In the first quarter there were 11 combined turnovers between the two teams. A three by Svenia Nürnberg gave Campbell a 12:10 lead at the end of the opening phase.
In the second quarter, both the Cavaliers and the Fighting Camels enjoyed protracted scoring, including a goalless stretch of over five minutes for Virginia. A turnaround jumper from Cady Pauley finally ended that drought and UVA ended the second period with a 6-2 run to take a 22-18 lead at halftime.
Whether it was more the stingy defenses of both teams or poor shot selection and lack of ball security, the result was an overall terrible first half on offense. Campbell turned the ball over 13 times in the first half while Virginia had nine turnovers in the first half. UVA shot 34% from the ground and didn’t hit a single three-pointer, while Campbell shot 35% and hit just two of 11 three-pointers. Virginia managed to take the lead by gaining an advantage inside and off the boards. UVA had eight offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points, outclassing Campbell 20-12 in the first half in the paint.
There was more offensive fighting in the third quarter as neither team scored a field goal for over four minutes. Virginia shot off the floor in the third 4/17 but found success driving to the basket and drawing fouls. The Cavaliers went 11/13 from the free throw line to win the quarter 19-15 and extend their lead to 41-33 to enter the fourth.
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As in several of UVA’s games earlier in the season, the Cavaliers finally found a rhythm when it mattered most. Sam Brunelle hit Virginia’s first three more than 32 minutes into the game as part of an 11-0 blast for the Cavaliers to open a 14-point lead. It was smooth sailing from there as the Hoos continued to play a smothering defense, abusing their advantage in color and finishing with a 36-22 advantage in color points. Campbell finished the game with 25 turnovers and Virginia scored 25 points from those takeaways to seal the win. UVA beat Campbell 21-8 in the fourth quarter and scored 40 points in the second half to secure the 62-41 win.
Camryn Taylor led by 13 points for the Cavaliers and London Clarkson joined her by 10 points on an efficient 5/6 shooting from the floor in double digits. The unsung hero of the night was McKenna Dale, who didn’t score but recorded eight rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist in just 17 minutes. Taylor Valladay had eight points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals and Mir McLean had seven points, seven rebounds and a steal before fouling.
With the win, Virginia (6-0) has now eclipsed his winning total for the entire 2021-2022 season (5-22), a notable turnaround for the Cavaliers in their first season under Coach Mox.
UVA will be back in action this weekend with the Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville. Virginia hosts Minnesota at 2 p.m. Saturday and East Carolina at 2 p.m. Sunday at the John Paul Jones Arena.
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