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#5 Duke Cruises Past Lady ‘Hoos

Even 15 points from Ataira Franklin was not enough from the Wahoos. (Staff Photo)

Following a heart-breaking loss to Georgia Tech, the Virginia Cavaliers women’s basketball team failed to capitalize on an opportunity against the fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils, falling 62-41.

“We are disappointed, but give a lot of credit to Duke.  They are a great team but I think we are capable of playing with teams like that,” Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle said after the game.

After a sloppy start for both sides that saw five combined turnovers in less than four minutes, the Wahoos took their first lead over the Devils with 13:16 left in the first half.

Stunting the Blue Devils early with a press, the Cavaliers were able to push the tempo, extending their lead to nine on two occasions.  However, an 11-0 Blue Devil run in the last four minutes of the first half gave Duke a two-point edge at the break, leading 24-22.

After half-time, the Blue Devil offense never looked back, playing in sync and getting their entire team involved.

“We weathered the storm in the first five minutes [of the second half],” Boyle said.  “It wasn’t necessarily the first five but the five after that where we lost it.”

Haley Peters, Elizabeth Williams, and Chelsea Gray all finished in double figures for Duke, with 33 of their combined 48 points coming in the second stanza.

The Cavaliers were not at a loss for hustle in the half, though.  Despite the huge Duke run, the ‘Hoos out-rebounded the Blue Devils by ten, including 21 on the offensive glass.

The frustration for Virginia came from overall careless play. Shots from point-blank range were not converted and 21 turnovers in the game doomed the Wahoos.

“We left a lot of points out there, we had something like 16 missed lay-ups.  You can’t leave those kinds of shots out there,” said Boyle.

The team shot only 19 percent in the second half and finished the game at 26 percent from the field.

Despite the late offensive struggle, Ataira Franklin led the Cavaliers with 15 points, nine rebounds, and five steals.  With that performance, Franklin moves up to 25th on the Virginia all-time scorer’s list.  Telia McCall contributed eight points and 11 rebounds as well.

Virginia falls to 14-8 on the year and 6-5 in the ACC.  The Cavaliers will face Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon with only a one-day turn-around and will look to avoid their first three-game skid of the season.

 

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