The Virginia women’s basketball team earned its first road ACC victory of the season with a 62-51 win at Georgia Tech.
The Cavaliers never trailed in the game and took a 14-point lead in the first half. Georgia Tech pulled to within seven in the second half, 39-32, when Kelsey Wolfe scored seven straight points for Virginia to extend the lead back out to 14. The Cavaliers held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.
Wolfe was one of three Virginia players to end the game scoring in double digits, finishing with 17 points. Senior Telia McCall, from near-by Marietta, Ga., had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, her second-straight double-double and the second of her career. Ataira Franklin scored 16 points with five assists and three steals. Simone Egwu had 15 rebounds with three points and three blocks.
“It was a great win for us, to come on the road and play against such a good team,” said head coach Joanne Boyle. “They pressure you for forty minutes. We didn’t always take care of the ball, but when we did, I thought we took advantage of it. It was a great road win in a tough environment.”
The Yellow Jackets struggled to penetrate Virginia’s zone defense, making just two field goals in the first ten minutes of the game. Georgia Tech hit three field goals in the final 28 seconds before the break to improve its first-half shooting percentage to 21 percent (7-of-34).
The Cavaliers started the game making four of their first five field goal attempts with a three-pointer from China Crosby putting Virginia up 9-2 to start the game. After a pair of Georgia Tech free throws, Virginia went on a 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from McCall to take an 18-4 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.
After the Cavaliers had built the lead up to 31-13, Georgia Tech missed a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the half, but got a second-chance three to narrow the gap to 31-16. The Yellow Jackets had three steals on the Cavaliers final three possessions of the half, scoring a pair of layups off those turnovers to go into the break trailing 31-20.
Georgia Tech began the second period pressing, forcing the Cavaliers to commit three turnovers in the first three minutes, but Virginia still managed to extend the lead back to 14, 36-22, on a layup by Franklin.
With 16 minutes left in the game, Wolfe converted an and-one to make it a 39-25 game. After Georgia Tech went on a 7-0 run to pull within single digits, 39-32, Wolfe drove baseline, getting a foul call while making the layup to end the run. After a steal by Franklin, the ball was back in Wolfe’s hands as she made another layup to make it 44-32. Wolfe added a pair of free throws a minute later to push the lead back to 14, 46-32, with 12:19 left in the game. Franklin added a jumper before the Cavaliers 9-0 run was snapped by a Georgia Tech three pointer.
The Cavaliers held a 52-35 lead when Georgia Tech used its three-point shooting to mount another run, pulling within 11, 56-45, when Wolfe drained a three to make it a 59-45 Virginia lead with four minutes left in the game.
The Cavaliers held on for the 62-51 victory, improving to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in ACC play. It was the first road ACC win for the team this year. Georgia Tech fell to 8-7 and 1-3 in the ACC.
Georgia Tech hits seven three-pointers, five coming in the second half. Virginia made five three-pointers, with four coming in the first half.
The Cavaliers will be back home on Sunday, Jan. 13 when they host NC State at 2p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
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