Jan. 2, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (8-4, 0-1 ACC) begins 2013 by jumping back into ACC play, hosting Virginia Tech (7-5, 1-0 ACC) on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
Virginia has dominated the all-time series, holding a 39-10 record in games against its in-state rival. The Cavaliers have a 14-2 record in ACC games against Virginia Tech since the Hokies first joined the conference in the 2004-05 season. UVa has won the last 12 meetings.
Virginia Tech comes into the game riding a three-game win streak, including a 73-52 victory over Wake Forest in its ACC opener. The Hokies have supplemented their roster with the addition of junior forward Uju Ugoka of Nigeria. Ugoka transferred to Virginia Tech after playing at Gulf Coast State where she was named the Conference Player of the Year, earned first team NJCCA All-America honors and was a top-three finalist for National JUCO Player of the Year. She has played two games for VaTech, averaging 19.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in the pair of wins.
Last week, Virginia won its 23rd Cavalier Classic team title in 27 years with a 66-23 victory over Norfolk State and a 54-45 win in the championship game against Xavier. The Cavalier Classic games closed out the non-conference slate with Virginia going 8-3.
Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) was named the tournament MVP with back-to-back strong performances. McCall had 14 rebounds against Norfolk State, the highest single-game total for a Cavalier player so far this season. McCall had four blocked shots against Xavier, a career high and the highest single-game total for a Virginia player this season. The Cavaliers, as a team, had seven blocked shots in the game, their highest team total so far this season.
China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) was also named to the all-tournament team. Against Xavier, Crosby had eight assists to two turnovers.
Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) and Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) scored in double digits in both games of the tournament, with Imovbioh getting her third double double of the season against Xavier (11 points, 10 rebounds). Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.) scored 16 points in the opener against Norfolk State.
The 23 points scored by Norfolk State was the second-lowest final point total by a Virginia opponent in program history. Mary Washington was held to 19 points in a game in 1976.
The Cavaliers allowed just six points in the first half of the Norfolk State game. It was the first of two games last weekend in which an ACC team held an opponent to single digits in a half. In Duke's Sunday game (Dec. 30), the Blue Devils tied an NCAA record by holding Monmouth to scoring just three points in the first half.
The Cavaliers held Norfolk State to 22.0 percent shooting and Xavier to 28.6 percent. UVa held Providence to under 30.0 percent shooting earlier in the season (16-58, .276)
The Cavaliers logged a season-high seven blocked shots against Xavier. UVa was averaging 2.4 blocked shots per game going into the Xavier contest.
The Cavaliers had back-to-back games making 80.0+ percent of their free throw attempts in the Cavalier Classic. UVa went 7-for-7 from the stripe in the second half against Xavier. Egwu went 8-for-8 against Norfolk State, the third time this season a Cavalier player was 8-for-8 or better from the free throw line. Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germantown, Md.) was 9-for-9 from the stripe at Penn earlier this season. Imovbioh was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line against Syracuse and went 11-for-12 (91.7 percent) from the charity stripe overall in the San Juan Shootout. McCall started the season going 13-for-13 from the free throw line, a streak spanning 10 games, before missing her first attempt against Norfolk State. Faith Randolph (Fr., Derwood, Md.) began her career making eight of her first nine free throw attempts.
Imovbioh continues to lead the ACC in shooting percentage (66.7 percent). She only has one game this season in which she has made less than 50 percent of her shot attempts.
Egwu went 4-for-4 from the field at Alabama and matched that with a 4-for-4 performance against Norfolk State. She also converted her last two attempts against Coppin State to make 10 consecutive field goal attempts. She snapped the streak with a miss in her first attempt against Xavier
McCall has moved into the top-10 in rebounding in the ACC, averaging 7.8 rebounds per game. McCall's 14 rebounds against Norfolk State is the highest single-game total for a Virginia player so far this season. She is averaging 11.5 rebounds per game in her last four games.
Crosby logged a career-high eight assists against Xavier. It was the third time this season that a Cavalier player had seven or more assists in a game (Crosby 7 vs Vanderbilt; Franklin 8 at Minnesota). Crosby has moved up to fourth in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7) and has had more assists than turnovers in each of her last six games including the eight assists to two turnovers against Xavier. In her last three games, Crosby has a 3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (15 A/5 TO).
Virginia heads south to face Miami (10-2, 1-0) on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on Regional Sports Networks (FS South, Sun Sports, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, NESN, FS North, FS Wisconsin, FS Arizona, FS Detroit Plus). Miami is receiving votes in the latest Associated Press poll.