With just nine days separating the two meetings of the Commonwealth Clash, the UVA women's basketball team needed to switch things up following its 69-52 loss at Virginia Tech on January 18th.
Less than an hour before tipoff of the rematch in Charlottesville on Thursday night, the Cavaliers got some news that was bound to give them a competitive edge. Virginia head coach Tina Thompson announced the addition of UConn transfer Mir McLean, who comes to UVA after playing in three games as a freshman last year for the Huskies. McLean, a 5'11" forward from Baltimore, Maryland, is a former McDonald's All-American and was the No. 25 ranked recruit in the class of 2020 as well as the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year in her senior season.
McLean transferred to Virginia and on Thursday, it was announced that she had been granted a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately and she would be available to play for the Cavaliers in the game against Virginia Tech.
With Virginia trailing 20-10, McLean checked into the game for the first time with 1:49 left in the first quarter. She missed a turnaround jumper at the end of the quarter but remained on the floor to start the second quarter.
After a Virginia Tech turnover, McLean made a fadeaway jumper for her first points as a Cavalier. A few minutes later, she showed off her range and splashed a three-pointer. McLean would go on to score three more baskets on layups and was responsible for 11 of UVA's 13 points in the second quarter to keep Virginia in the game, but Virginia Tech still took a ten point lead into halftime.
McLean's 11-point outburst in the second quarter did plenty to show the offensive versatility the UConn transfer could bring to the Cavaliers going forward. McLean finished with a near double-double as she also recorded nine rebounds. However, her 11 points in the second quarter ended up being her only points of the game, as she attempted (and missed) just four more field goals in the second half.
Virginia Tech's Georgia Amoore scored 11 of her game-high 21 points in the third quarter as the Hokies outscored the Cavaliers 24-12 in the period to blow the game wide open and extend their lead to 57-35. Amoore knocked down each of her three attempts from three-point range in the quarter.
Three-point shooting was a key difference in the game. Points in the paint were even at 22 points apiece, but Virginia Tech made 11 threes on 28 attempts as compared to just four made threes on nine attempts for the Cavaliers. Aisha Sheppard made five threes and scored 20 points in the game. The guard duo of Sheppard and Amoore combined to score 41 of Virginia Tech's 71 points.
Amandine Toi led Virginia with 13 points, including five points in the fourth quarter, but the Hoos struggled to put the ball in the basket as they have all season. UVA turned the ball over 19 times and Virginia Tech scored 23 points on those takeaways. Virginia was held to just seven total points in the final period as Virginia Tech rolled to a 71-42 victory over UVA on Thursday night.
With the loss, Virginia falls to 3-14 overall and 0-7 in ACC play. The Cavaliers play at Florida State on Sunday at 12pm.