UVA Women’s basketball Battles back to beat Campbell 62-41

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A win is a win is a win. The Virginia Cavaliers move to 6 – 0 for the first time since the 1997-1998 season and Coach Agugua-Hamilton becomes the first Women’s basketball Coach to begin her tenure at UVA with six straight wins.

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Campbell guard Shy Tuelle entered the game as one of the nation’s premier threats from three, splashing five Threes a game and shooting 65% from deep. And no, that is not a typo. Virginia’s defense on her was outstanding and she only attempted one shot on the day. To be fair, she made it and it was from beyond the arc, so that absurd percentage is only going to increase, but she wasn’t a factor.

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The game was not an advertisement for Women’s basketball. The first half was especially ugly as the teams combined to go 0-5 from the line and 2-14 from beyond the arc. Virginia Drew almost as many charges (3) as buckets they made (5) in the first quarter.

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Coach Mox has given the women the green light to push the ball in transition and Taylor Valladay, Carole Miller and Kayden Lawson do just that. But in the first half, they pushed injudiciously forcing very poor layups at the rim no less than seven times in the first half. Miller, Valladay, Yonta Vaughn, Mir McLean and Lawson all got up a full head of steam and were blinders as they went crashing into 1 v 2 finishes at the rim. Valladay and Vaughn each similarly spurned 2 v 1 fast breaks where they should have made the pass, only to fail at the rim. Running is great, but you have a modicum of court presence. Which brings me to…

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These women can make adjustments. The ‘Hoos were much better in the second half. UVA still pushed the tempo, but London Clarkson and McLean picked much better Moments to drive to the bucket when there were multiple defenders.

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This Virginia team is not a good free throw shooting team, shooting just a little over 66% from the stripe. In the critical third quarter, the Cavaliers were 11 – 13 from the line and at one point they scored eight straight points via free throws. They broke what had been a close game — leading 23-26 — into a 34 to 23 lead. The game was effectively over by the middle of the third quarter when Kayden Lawson capped that streak with a pair of free throws.

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Shades of Bennett’s Boys. The women held a 21-9 total free throw advantage. If the three is not falling (which it wasn’t) and the team was running a bit too recklessly in transition, the points have to come from somewhere. This was more free throws than Virginia has taken at any time this season.

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This is a second half team. I don’t know if it is that the ‘Hoos are slow starters or if it is that Coach Mox gives great half-speeches, but this was a very typical second half explosion by the Cavaliers.

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Cady Pauley had five points in six minutes. She has a very simple stroke. She’s going to score a lot of points for Coach Mox.

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Virginia pounded Campbell on the boards. Both teams entered the game in the Top 20 in rebounding, yet Virginia walked away with a 16 – 6 advantage on the Offensive glass and, 43 to 31 advantage overall.

Up Next: The Cavaliers host the Cavalier Classic this weekend. Saturday’s game is against Minnesota and Sunday’s game is against East Carolina. Game time for both is 2:00pm and both are on the ACC network.

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