CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A four-game stretch against ranked teams that looked to be a problem when Virginia started with losses to No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Duke is now looking as if it could be the turning point of the Cavaliers' season.
Kelsey Wolfe scored 24 points and Ataira Franklin and Faith Randolph each scored 19 Thursday night, and Virginia jumped No. 6 Maryland after halftime and ended the Terrapins' 14-game winning streak with an 86-72 victory.
"We've been playing with a lot of confidence here these last couple of weeks, and they're running with their team right now. They're running it and I'm managing it," Boyle said, flanked by Franklin and Wolfe, two of her three seniors.
The Cavaliers started their four-game gauntlet with a competitive 79-72 loss to the Fighting Irish, then got run out of Cameron Indoor Stadium, 90-55. It was a game, Boyle said, that taught them all about pace.
Since then, they beat No. 24 Florida State 85-68 and then ended a five-game slide against the Terps.
"We didn't want to get into a track meet with Maryland,'" Boyle said, praising her team's "poise throughout the game."
The Cavaliers (10-9, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 38-34 at halftime, but scored the first 11 points of the second half to open a 45-38 lead. Five quick points by Alicia DeVaughn pulled the Terps to within 47-45, but Wolfe made a 3-pointer and Lexi Gerson followed a Maryland turnover with a foul-line jumper, pushing the lead back to 52-45 with 14:11 to go.
Maryland got a three-point play from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough to close the gap to four, but the Terps got no closer.
"I just think it shows that we're a resilient team, and we're really starting to come into our own, especially being able to put these two big wins together," Franklin said. "We're starting to show everybody that this is the team we're going to be."