The Virginia women’s basketball team fell 68-58 on the road at West Virginia Sunday. The loss dropped UVa to 3-2 on the year.
“It was a hard-fought game, but West Virginia really took it at us,” Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle said. “We made a big run to [almost] tie it back up, but they made a big run and ran away with it.”
Senior guard Ataira Franklin had the first 20-point game of the season for the Cavaliers, finishing with 23. Franklin connected on six of her seven long-range attempts and led the team in rebounding with eight boards.
“Franklin was really knocking them down for us,” Boyle said. “She took what they gave her. I think she and Kelsey Wolfe were the two people on the team who really took what came to them. Everyone else was rushing shots and throwing bad shots up which created a lot of their transition points.”
Fueled by a jumper and a three-pointer by Lexie Gerson, Virginia mounted an 8-0 run midway through the second half. The Cavaliers had a chance to tie the game with Amanda Fioravanti getting fouled and going to the line to shoot two. She missed both attempts, but Virginia got the ball back with Gerson pulling up for a free throw line jumper, however she couldn’t convert from there either. West Virginia answered with an 8-0 run of its own, scoring four of those points off eight free throw attempts, to push the lead back to 57-48 with 8:30 remaining.
Gerson finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Fioravanti scored six points with five rebounds in nine minutes on the court.
Virginia’s 10 three-pointers was the first time the team had connected on double-digit threes since making a school-record 14 at Rider on Jan. 2, 2008.
Next week, Virginia will face its first ranked opponent this season, taking on No. 3/4 Tennessee in the opening game of the Junkanoo Jam Tournament on Grand Bahama Island. The Lady Vols and Cavaliers will face off at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Virginia will play either Southern Methodist or Kansas State on Friday, Nov. 30 at either 5:45 or 8 p.m. in its final game of the tournament.
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