The Lady Dawgs hosted Virginia on Monday evening, and the Cavaliers beat the Lady Dawgs 66-43, snapping an 8-year long home-game winning streak against non-conference teams. The Dawgs trailed the entire game, as they struggled to stop the fast scoring Cavaliers. Throughout the entire game, the team seemed sluggish, missed easy shots, and allowed careless turnovers.
The leading scorer for the Dawgs was Mackenzie Engram. She put up 18 points and brought down four rebounds. She shot 53 percent from the field making 8-15 shots. Caliya Robinson was a close second with 10 points and nine rebounds. This game marked Robinson’s 14th straight game with double-digit points.
After an almost scoreless first quarter, the Lady Dawgs finally got something going on offense. Mackenzie Engram was the main scoring contributor in the first half, putting up 11 points. However, the missed free throws were one of the main areas that the Bulldogs struggled in. They went 3-10 from the line and also only shot 37 percent from the field during the first half of play.
After a disappointing first half, the Lady Dawg came out with a small momentum shift after Engram hit a quick three to bring it within five. However, the momentum quickly went back to the Cavaliers as they continued their high-powered offense.
The Lady Dawgs just couldn’t get the offense going as they shot just 31 percent from the field all evening. Their 20 turnovers cost them as the Cavaliers were able to convert 20 points off of those turnovers. The missed free throws also cost the Lady Dawgs in this game. They made 8-19 from the line, shooting 42 percent. The Cavaliers, in comparison, shot 82 percent from the line making 9-11. Virginia held the Dawgs to one made basket in the entire fourth quarter and sealed the win for the Cavaliers.
“After we closed the gap, we turned it over too many times in a row, and you just can’t do that against really good teams,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “They’re going to capitalize on that, which they did, so every time we would make a run and try to close that gap, they would extend the lead, and we would turn it over. Credit to Virginia–they’re really good. They came in here with a game plan and executed it very well. It was a tough night for us.”
The Lady Dawgs return on Thursday to host Samford for a 1 p.m. tipoff at the Stegeman Coliseum.