Feb. 27, 2005
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
The University of Virginia women's basketball team ended its regular season on Sunday with a 57-54 win over Wake Forest before a season-high 7,001 fans at University Hall.
The Cavaliers improved to 19-9 overall and 8-6 in the ACC, finishing fifth in the conference standings. The Demon Deacons fell to 14-13 overall and 3-11 in the league.
"I was really proud of how the seniors started and fought," said coach Debbie Ryan. "They played their way out of a funk."
"I don't think we competed very well," Wake Forest head coach Mike Petersen said. "Virginia played hard."
In the first half, Wake Forest jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Using a 7-0 run, the Demon Deacons went ahead by 10 points, 24-14. WF led by as many as 12 points and held an 11-point edge at halftime, 37-26.
In the second half, UVa opened with a 16-2 run to take its biggest lead, 42-39 with 13:40 to go. Wake Forest battled back to go ahead by three, 54-51 with 3:39 on the clock. Senior post Kate Kreager (Oak Hill, Va.) nailed a three-pointer, just her third this season, to tie the game at 54-54 with 3:10 to go.
"It was huge," Ryan said of Kreager's three. "She knows she has the green light (to shoot)."
The Cavaliers then held the Deacons scoreless for the remainder of the game. Freshman point guard Sharnee Zoll (Marlboro, N.J.) converted a jumper with 29 seconds to go and then added a free throw with 11 seconds on the clock to give UVa the three-point win.
"Zoll made a really good play," Petersen said. " We just picked a bad time to make a (defensive) mistake."
"I have to credit the Senior Class," Ryan added. "They stepped out there with their energy. We played our butts off defensively."
Senior LaTonya (Joliet, Ill.) paced the Cavaliers with 16 points and 10 rebounds, marking the second double-double of the season (seventh in her career). Fellow senior Jocelyn Logan-Friend (Cheverly, Md.) added nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Kreager finished with seven points and five boards. All five seniors received starting nods for their final home game. Zoll, who finished with six points, went 0-8 from the field before nailing the go-ahead bucket.
"There was no pressure (to make the free throw) after all of the shots I missed," Zoll said. "I hadn't been shooting well from the line. I heard Coach yell `miss.'"
Cotelia Bond-Young led Wake Forest with 21 points, including four treys. Porsche Jones added 10 points.
"It was a war," Ryan said. "Wake Forest played with heart. There are no easy games in this league."
Overall, UVa out rebounded WF, 50-35. The 7,001 fans in attendance rank 10th on UVa's all-time home attendance list.
Virginia awaits seeding for the 2005 ACC Tournament, which begins on Friday, March 4 in Greensboro, N.C. The conference office will announce the pairings on Monday, Feb. 28 following the final ACC game between Clemson and NC State.
1 2 - Final
Wake Forest (14-13, 3-11 ACC) 37 17 - 54
Virginia (19-9, 8-6 ACC) 26 31 57