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Sheppard’s career-best not enough to beat Cavaliers Sunday

UVA defeates VT 86-76 on Senior Day
UVA defeates VT 86-76 on Senior Day (WSLS)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Junior guard Aisha Sheppard recorded 32 points and eight 3-pointers, but it was not enough to overcome a hot-shooting Virginia squad that earned an 86-76 victory Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

The loss snaps a program-best four-game ACC winning streak and moves the Hokies’ record to 20-7 (10-6) ahead of a rematch with Duke on Thursday evening.

Virginia, who was led by 29-point performances from both Dominique Toussaint and Jocelyn Willoughby improved to 12-15 (7-9)

Virginia jumped out to an advantage early in the game with a 12-0 run heading into the first quarter media timeout that was only slowed briefly by a Sheppard triple until the Hoos scored the next five points in the game. The Cavaliers sustained their momentum in the second frame and took a five-point advantage into the locker room.

In the third, Sheppard did most of her damage connecting on a 3-pointer on the first possession and would go on to score 15 including a three as time expired to pull Tech to within a point.

The Hokies battled and regained the lead for the first time since 7:25 in the first when Elizabeth Kitley scored a layup at the 9:04 mark in the fourth. It would be the last time that Tech held the lead as UVA scored a layup to take the lead back and would seal the game late at the free throw line.

Kitley nearly registered a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds and Dara Mabrey who scored nine points, had five assists, tying a season high.

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INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Virginia held a large advantage in the paint 36-20.
  • Both squads had 13 turnovers in the game.
  • The Cavaliers shot 57% from the field, while Tech hit 37% of its field goal attempts.
  • The game featured 51 fouls with Tech going 22-32 and Virginia converting 20-26 free throw attempts.

GAME NOTES

  • Aisha Sheppard scored in double figures for the 23rd time in 27 games this season with her 32 against Virginia. She continues to lead the team at 15.7 points per game. Sheppard has hit a 3-pointer in 34 consecutive games, dating back to January 29, 2019, a school record. She sits in second place all-time at Tech with 216 3-point field goals.
  • Her last 20-point game was at NC State where she scored 28
  • She set the Cassell Coliseum record with eight 3's tying her own program record for any game.
  • Tech used the same starting lineup for the 20th straight game – Cole, Mabrey, Sheppard, Rivers and Kitley.

NEXT TIME ON CARILION CLINIC COURT

•The Hokies are back at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday, February 27 for a 7 p.m. tip against the Duke Blue Devils.

•In the season’s first meeting on January 12, Duke won a 72-67 contest in overtime after overcoming a deficit late in regulation. Taja Cole recorded a double-double in that contest with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Elizabeth Kitley scored 21 points and had nine boards.