Feb. 26, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
Virginia gave University Hall a proper goodbye with its fourth consecutive win on Sunday afternoon with an 83-64 victory over Clemson in the "Last Ball in U-Hall".
Following the game, the Cavaliers shared their memories of U-Hall, and head coach Debbie Ryan took the last ceremonial shot. The ball was then passed from the court through a long line of alumnae, up the stairs and out the door to be carried by Wendy Palmer (1993-96) across the street to the John Paul Jones Arena. Balloons and confetti fell from the rafters as the fans streamed the court one last time to share the final moments with the team.
"I wasn't nervous," Ryan said of her honorary last shot. "I hoped I'd make it in the first five attempts. The ceremony was extremely well planned. When I saw the confetti and balloons, I thought `Wow, this is Hollywood. This is the big time'. It was a lot of fun. The alumnae had a good time."
The Cavaliers improved to 17-10 overall and 5-9 in ACC play, while the Lady Tigers fell to 8-20 overall and 2-12 in the league. UVa closes out a 33-year history at University Hall with a 371-81 all-time home record.
Virginia started off with a 12-2 run. Clemson battled back to come within nine, 38-29. UVa led by 12 points at the break, 41-29.
"I told them in the locker room to come out with a lot of energy in the first five minutes," Ryan said.
In the second half, the Cavaliers upped their lead to as many as 21 points, 60-39 with 11:52 to play. Virginia never relinquished its double-digit lead.
Four Cavaliers netted double digits, paced by sophomore Takisha Granberry's (Charlotte, N.C.) career-high 18 points. She also shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. Junior Siedah Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) and freshman Lyndra Littles (Washington, D.C.) followed with 17 points each. Senior Tiffany Sardin (Chicago, Ill.), playing in her final regular-season game at U-Hall, finished with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. She and head manager Matt Marlow were honored in a pregame ceremony.
"It was difficult," Sardin said of her last game. "With the help of Coach Ryan and my teammates, I tried to relax. I just wanted to win the game. It means a lot to me. It's a privilege to go to this university, never mind meeting all the alumnae."
"It's an honor and privilege to play here," sophomore Sharneé Zoll (Marlboro, N.J.) said of U-Hall. "It hasn't hit me yet that we won't play here next year."
Amanda Frist and Tasha Taylor led Clemson with 12 points each. D'Lesha Lloyd came off the bench for 11 points, while Maxienne White added 10 points.
Overall, Virginia out-rebounded Clemson, 41-26. The Cavaliers went 25-for-34 from the line, while the Lady Tigers went 6-for-11.
"We hit free throws," Zoll added. "That shows focus and concentration."
Virginia now awaits the announcement of the seeds for the 2006 ACC Tournament, which runs March 2-5. The full bracket will be announced tonight.
1 2 - Final
Clemson (8-20, 2-12) 29 35 - 64
Virginia (17-10, 5-9) 41 42 - 83
Scores from other ACC games today:
#4 Maryland 89, Northern Colorado 53
Miami 90, Georgia Tech 85 (2ot)
Virginia Tech 76, Wake Forest 42
Florida State 71, Boston College 60