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Short-Handed Virginia Falls 73-68 in OT to Wake Forest

Faith Randolph drained a momentous three to give the Virginia Cavaliers their first, and what would turn out to be only, lead of overtime with 3 minutes left in the period.  Despite the sudden offensive rush, Virginia would fall short against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, losing 73-68 with the extra period.

Despite being without two starters—Telia McCall and Kelsey Wolfe—due to injury, Virginia hung with the Deacons in a game that saw 12 ties and 8 lead changes.

However, the steady offensive charge by Wake’s Chelsea Douglas and Lakevia Boykin ultimately sunk the Cavaliers, who fell to the Deacons for only the fifth time in school history.  With the victory, Wake improves to 11-16 (4-11 ACC).

After a lay-up with 1:20 remaining in the second half by Wake Forest’s Sandra Garcia tied the ball-game, the Cavaliers had several opportunities to take the game for themselves and simply could not convert with three consecutive shots missed in the closing seconds.

“I think both teams battled,” head coach Joanne Boyle said. “[Wake Forest] finished the game and that’s been our Achilles heel just trying to figure out how to do that.”

Ataira Franklin was the marathon woman for the Cavaliers, playing every minute of the game and finishing with 15 points on a shaky 5-13 shooting with five rebounds and three assists.

Shooting efficiency was a problem all night for Virginia, who shot 29.6 percent from the field in the first half and finished at a meager 37.1 percent.

Douglas ended the night with 20 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while Boykin tacked on 25 more, five rebounds, and a lone assist.

This combination was the engine that kept the Demon Deacons running, while senior China Crosby tried to be the same for the Cavaliers.

Setting a new career high in assists with 9, Crosby was the shot-caller for the Wahoos all night long, forced to play all but one minute tonight due to the injuries.

After the game, Franklin stressed that the team needed players to step up because of their short-handedness and that certainly happened.  Freshman Jaryn Garner, who has scantily played throughout ACC play, saw 26 minutes of action tonight and seized the opportunity with 10 points and 4 assists.

However, sophomore Sarah Imovbioh really shined for the ‘Hoos.  Racking up 18 points, she also finished with a career high-18 rebounds—recording a double-double in the beginning of the second half.

In the end, the solid performances by younger players on the team was not enough, as the Cavaliers fall to 15-11 (7-8 ACC) and dropped their fifth game of the season by five or fewer points.

“We keep reliving the same horror film.  We had the effort tonight, but we have to be smarter,” Boyle said.

The Cavaliers travel to NC State on Thursday, before they close out their season at home against Florida State on March 3rd.

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