The Virginia women’s basketball team starts their ACC Tournament journey tonight as the No. 7 seed against the 10th-seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a team the Hoos have already defeated once this season, 62-56 on the road. Georgia Tech comes in tonight having defeated 15th-seeded Clemson 61-52 in the opening round of ACC Tournament play last night.
If you haven’t been following along this year, our heroes have a 17-12 overall record and are 10-6 in conference to finish tied with Syracuse and Miami for sixth in the regular season standings. It’s the highest finish for the Hoos since a sixth-place finish in 2013. Notably, this is the first time the team has finished with at least 10 conference wins throughout head coach Joanne Boyle’s seven season with the Cavaliers.
When Virginia and Georgia Tech met earlier this year, it was a back and forth contest with nine lead changes and a two-point deficit for the Hoos at the close of the third quarter. Virginia opened the fourth quarter on a 17-2 tear before Georgia Tech went on a 10-0 run of their own to make it a three-point game with just 40 seconds to play. Virginia held on with a stingy defense and good free throw shooting to return to Charlottesville with the W in hand.
Here are your video highlights:
Just who are these heroes?
Let’s start with sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan, who leads the conference in blocked shots per game (2.1) and was just named to the ACC All-Defensive Team, just the fifth Cavalier to do so since the team was established in 2000. Sophomore Dominique Toussaint, a member of last year’s ACC All-Freshman Team, leads the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game, the only UVA player scoring double digits. Just behind her is sophomore Jocelyn Willoughby, also a member of last year’s ACC All-Freshman Team, average 9.9 points per game. Finally, keep an eye out on senior guard Aliyah Huland El, who averages 9.7 points per game and has picked up 24 steaks and 24 blocks on the season. In the last outing against the Yellow Jackets, she put up a season-high 21 points.
Georgia Tech handled Clemson with ease last night, leading for 36:58 minutes and by as many as 16 points. Clemson pulled to within as few as four points in the fourth quarter but was unable to complete the comeback.
A win tonight would give Virginia back-to-back quarterfinal appearances for the first time since the 2009 and 2010 tournaments. They would take on Notre Dame on Friday evening.
Here’s how you can catch tonight’s action.