Fans sitting in the rows behind Virginia’s bench did a double take.
Despite the lopsided 19-point margin that the Cavaliers enjoyed on the scoreboard, coach Debbie Ryan screamed at a decibel level that left those in awe.
The message during a 30-second timeout obviously reached its target — No. 19 Virginia regained its form as the lineup was shuffled and went on to complete its trouncing of Furman, 74-43, at John Paul Jones Arena.
"I was just really mad," Ryan said. "I am not going to put up with that anymore. It is not happening. I don’t care if you are a first-year, second-year, third-year, it’s doesn’t matter to me.
"If you are not going to defend, you are not going to play."
Virginia, which got 30 points and nine steals from Monica Wright, improved to 7-2 overall as a 12-day break for exams looms. Furman, from the Southern Conference, dropped to 2-8.
After the timeout that Ryan used to demand defensive intensity — which came with 12:50 left in the game — Virginia finished the contest on a 27-15 run.
That scoring spree, however, was clearly overshadowed by one that came in the opening half.
After Furman tied the game 8-8 on a layup by Kaitlin Murphy with 17:05 left, UVa exploded on offense and shined on the defensive end.
Wright started an impressive 22-0 run for the Cavaliers with back-to-back 3-pointers.
In all, Furman went almost 13 minutes without scoring a point and trailed 38-15 at halftime.
"No matter who you are playing, it’s hard to do, because everybody at this level can score," Ryan said. "I was really pleased that we did a great job holding them scoreless for quite a long time."
After losing 75-73 to James Madison on Sunday, Ryan spent Sunday’s practice session stressing the importance of defense.
Furman paid the price — the Lady Paladins were held to 32.7 percent shooting from the field (16 of 49) and turned the ball over 26 times.
"We spent a lot of time working on us as opposed to focusing on the scouting report," Ryan said. "We really spent most of our time working on things that we had to work on.
"I think it paid some dividends. Most of the [four-minute segments were fairly well defended."
Wright, who scored 20 points in the first half, had help offensively. Sophomore guard Whitny Edwards scored a career-best 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
"Coach just told us before the game to be aggressive, to try to get our feet in the paint as much as possible," said Edwards, who added nine rebounds to help Virginia enjoy a 47-28 advantage on the glass.
"My teammates did a great job finding me on the fast break. Fortunately, my shots fell tonight."
Freshman center Simone Egwu added 12 rebounds in the victory.
Raegan Thompson came in off the bench to pace Furman with nine points.
Virginia, on break for finals, will not play again until it travels to Georgia on Dec. 20.
Courtesy of the Daily Progress