Dec. 29, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team will face Xavier on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. in the championship game of the 2012 Cavalier Classic, presented by Holiday Inn University Area. Northern Illinois and Norfolk State will play at 4:30 in the consolation final.
At the conclusion of the 7 p.m. game on Saturday six member All-Tournament Team, including the tournament MVP, will be announced. Last season, Virginia's Ariana Moorer was named the MVP with Ataira Franklin also being named to the All-Tournament squad.
Virginia has captured 22 of the 26 Cavalier Classic team titles since the tournament began in 1976. Started as the precursor to the ACC Tournament, the Cavalier Classic's official name has changed several times through the years. North Carolina captured the first title in 1976, NC State won the event in 1977, Auburn took home the title in 1998 and Minnesota won in 2003.
Virginia has played in the championship game every year since 1979.
Last year, the Cavaliers defeated UMass, 53-38, to win the title. In the last eight years, Virginia has outscored its opponent by an average of 22.7 points in the championship game and has only once defeated a team by single digits in that span.
Off to a 6-6 start this season, Xavier has lost five of its last eight games since winning three of its first four. The Musketeers are scoring 64.1 points per game and allowing 63.9. They are also shooting 39.7 percent from the field and allowing a 39.5 percent clip to foes. This is the first meeting between Virginia and Xavier.
The Cavaliers come into the game after a dominant 66-23 victory over Norfolk State in the opener. The Spartans scored six points in the first half. The NCAA record for fewest points allowed in a half is three, which has happened twice, most recently by Georgia Tech in a 82-11 victory over Tennessee St (Dec. 30, 2010).
The 23 points scored total was the lowest final point total by an opponent since 1975 when Virginia held Mary Washington to scoring 19 points (Dec. 2, 1975). It was the seventh time in program history that the Cavaliers held their opponent to under 30 points, with the previous six occurrences happening prior to 1976.
Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.), with her 16 points against Norfolk State, has now scored in double digits in four of her last five games and is averaging 12.6 points in her last three games. Egwu was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line against Norfolk State. She comes into the game having made her last 10 FG attempts. She went 4-for-4 from the field at Alabama and 4-for-4 yesterday. She also converted her last two attempts against Coppin State. Overall, Egwu is shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 86.4 percent from the free throw line.
Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) just missed her first double double of the season with nine points and 14 rebounds against Norfolk State. She had eight points with 12 rebounds at Alabama. McCall is averaging 13.0 rebounds per game in her last three games and now leads the team in rebounding, averaging 7.8 per game and moving into the top-10 in the ACC in rebounding (9th). After not missing a free throw in her first ten games (starting the season 13-or-13 from the line), McCall missed two against Norfolk State.
Sarah Imovbioh (so., Abuja, Nigeria) went 4-for-6 from the field against Norfolk State. She continues to lead the ACC in field goal percentage at 67.2 percent and only has one game this season in which she has made less than 50 percent of her shot attempts.
China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) has moved up to fifth in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5). Crosby has had more assists than turnovers in each of her last six games including three assists to one turnover against Norfolk State. Crosby was also 2-for-4 from three-point range against Norfolk State.
Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) has hit at least two three-pointers in each of her last five games. Franklin scored 12 points with five assists against Norfolk State, the second time in the last four games she logged five or more assists in a contest. She has had at least one assist in nine of her 10 games played this season.
Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) has missed three games (Coppin State, Alabama, Norfolk State) games after suffering a concussion in practice. She is doubtful for the Xavier game. Sarah Beth Barnette (R-So., Louisville, Ky.) had her nose broken diving for a loose ball in the Norfolk State game. She is probable for the Xavier game.
The Cavalier Classic, presented by Holiday Inn University Area, will wrap up the Cavaliers' regular-season non-conference games. Virginia is currently 7-3 against non-conference opponents this season. Virginia returns to ACC play on Thursday, Jan. 3 when it hosts Virginia Tech.