The Virginia women’s basketball team is starting to build a real home-court advantage at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Cavaliers won their third straight home game on Thursday night, rolling to a 70-54 victory over Clemson. Virginia (10-13, 5-7 ACC) has been dominant in its past three home games, outscoring its opponents 217-155.
On Thursday, Virginia started strong, building a 24-9 lead in the first half. Clemson (7-16, 3-9 ACC) rallied, cutting the lead to three points early in the third quarter but could get no closer as Virginia build its lead back up to double figures en route to a 16-point win.
“Very solid win for our girls,” Virginia coach Tina Thompson said. “I thought that they started the game with a lot of energy, but also active defensively. Against a team like Clemson that works the way that they do and rebounds the way that they do, specifically offensively, and tries to attack the basket, our defense was key. We started the game very solid. We had a couple of lapses here and there, but we continued to recover.”
Jocelyn Willoughby scored 21 points to lead three Cavaliers in double figures. The senior guard went 7-of-11 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line en route to her 11th 20-point game of the season.
Carole Miller added a career-high 19 points, eclipsing her previous career high of 18 points, which came against Notre Dame on Jan. 26. The freshman finished 7-of-12 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. After serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules, Dominique Toussaint chipped in 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Amari Robinson led Clemson with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Cavaliers travel to No. 17 Florida State on Sunday for a noon matchup. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.
After three straight double-digit home wins over ACC opponents, Thompson and the Cavaliers will look to continue that string of complete performances on the road this weekend against the Seminoles.
“We again put together a 40-minute game,” Thompson said, “and for us when that happens, we have very positive results.”