Jan. 19, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -The Virginia women's basketball team (11-6, 3-3 ACC) closes out the week hosting Miami (13-4, 4-2 ACC) on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed live online on ESPN3.
The two teams played one another two weeks ago on Sunday, Jan. 6, with the Hurricanes holding on for a 58-52 victory. A 9-0 Miami run in the second half put the Hurricanes up by 14, 43-29, with 14 minutes left in the game. The Cavaliers answered with a 17-2 run, taking a 46-45 lead on a three-pointer from Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) with 9:44 left in the game. The Hurricanes went 2-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute of play, but the Cavaliers couldn't take advantage of the opportunity. Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germanotwn, Md.) led all players with 18 points, going 6-for-13 from the field. Wolfe had five rebounds, three assists and six steals. Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) had her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) scored seven points with four assists, a steal and a rebound. Ataira Franklin (Jr., Odenton, Md.) had nine points with two rebounds and four assists.
Miami was receiving votes in the polls when the two teams played on Jan. 6. The Hurricanes were ranked No. 24/25 in last week's polls, but have slipped back out of the top-25 this week and are once again receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls.
The Cavaliers are 2-1 since that game while Miami has gone 1-2. Miami defeated Georgia Tech, 71-65. Both of Miami's losses were on the road against top-25 teams, falling 84-62 at No. 10 Maryland and 86-65 at No. 18 Florida State.
Virginia is coming off a 71-60 loss at No. 11 North Carolina. The Cavaliers whittled down a 27-point deficit, trailing 58-31 with 13:29 left, to end the game down 11. The Cavaliers, who outscored UNC 29-13 in the final 13 minutes of the game, held the Tar Heels scoreless in the final 3:19, while scoring 10 points of their own.
Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) was a key element of the second-half surge, scoring eight points with five rebounds in six minutes in the second half. Imovbioh went 4-for-4 from the free throw line against North Carolina and has made 15-of-17 from the charity stripe line in her last seven games.
The Cavalier bench contributed 16 points at North Carolina. It was the first time in the last five games that non-starters combined to score more than nine points. In the four games from Jan. 1-13 against Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech and NC State, the Cavaliers' starting five combined to score 220 of Virginia's 244 points (90.1 percent).
McCall just missed her fourth consecutive double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds against North Carolina. In the last four games, including the game at Miami, McCall is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, shooting 56.4 percent (22-of-39) from the field. The forward has made 4-of-6 three-point attempts during that same span. McCall is currently sixth in the ACC in rebounding, averaging 8.4 per game. She is averaging 10.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game against ACC opponents.
Wolfe now leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game overall and 13.7 points in ACC games. Wolfe scored a team-high 18 points at Miami, the beginning of a four-game stretch where she is averaging 18.0 points, 3.25 assists, and 3.0 steals per game. Wolfe has also connected on at least one three-pointer in each of her last six games.
Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.) pulled in a team-high 10 rebounds at North Carolina, her third double-digit rebounding performance of the season. In her last three games, she is averaging 10.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game.
Crosby is averaging 8.5 points and 4.5 assists in her last two games. She has made at least one three-pointer in eight of her last nine games. Crosby is shooting 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the free throw line in ACC games this season, third in the conference and has only missed two free throws in her last 10 games (16-of-18).
Franklin comes into the game with 968 career points, 32 points shy of becoming the 29th player in Virginia program history to join the 1,000 point club. Last season, Ariana Moorer and Chelsea Shine both reached the 1,000-point-scoring plateau.
The Cavaliers are ranked No. 35 in the national rankings in scoring defense with opposing teams shooting 34.9 percent. Except for the double-overtime loss at Alabama, the Virginia defense had not allowed an opponent to score more than 59 points in the eight games prior to the North Carolina game. In the Alabama game, Virginia held the Crimson Tide to 58 points in regulation.
Sunday's game is "Virginia-ACC Day" which will include a pre-game youth zone featuring sign-making, face-painting, an inflatable game, and giveaways from the ACC. Additional Virginia-ACC Day t-shirts will be distributed as part of the Pepsi T-Shirt Toss. There will be a post-game autograph session and a special halftime show featuring Rolla Bolla.
Family Package tickets for Sunday's game are currently on sale. The Family Package includes a reserved ticket, hot dog and 22 oz. soda for just $9 per ticket (minimum purchase of 4 required). Additional tickets (including hot dog and soft drink) are available for $9 each.
Next week, the Cavaliers will host Boston College on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. It will be the first time this season the Cavaliers will play back-to-back ACC home games.