Virginia's Three-Point Shooting Not Enough at WVU

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Ataira Franklin had the first 20-point game of the season for the Cavaliers

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Ataira Franklin had the first 20-point game of the season for the Cavaliers
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 24, 2013

Final Stats |  Quotes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (3-2) suffered a 68-58 road loss to West Virginia (4-1) at the WVU Coliseum on Sunday (Nov. 24).

The Cavaliers found most of their offense from beyond the arc, making 10 three-pointers, shooting 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from long range. Senior guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) had the first 20-point game of the season for the Cavaliers, finishing with 23. Franklin led the three-point charge, connecting on six of her eight long-range attempts. She also led the team in rebounding with eight boards.

West Virginia's Bria Holmes made four three-pointers, finishing the game with a team-high 19 points, one of three Mountaineers to finish in double digits. Asya Bussie posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

"It was a hard-fought game, but West Virginia really took it at us," Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle said. "We made a big run to [almost] tie it back up, but they made a big run and ran away with it."

Fueled by a jumper and a three-pointer by Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.), Virginia mounted an 8-0 run midway through the second half. The Cavaliers had a chance to tie the game with Amanda Fioravanti (Frederick, Md.) getting fouled and going to the line to shoot two. She missed both attempts, but Virginia got the ball back with Gerson pulling up for a free throw line jumper, however she couldn't convert from there either. West Virginia answered with an 8-0 run of its own, scoring four of those points off eight free throw attempts, to push the lead back to 57:48 with 8:30 remaining.

The Cavaliers started the game in an 11-1 hole after missing their first six field goal attempts in the opening four minutes. The Mountaineers began the game with hot hands, making 7 of their first 9 attempts to shoot 77.8 percent in the opening minutes, however they couldn't maintain that blistering shooting, making six of their final 20 shots in the first half to finish the period at 44.8 percent.

 

 

Franklin ignited the Cavaliers' offense, scoring 15 first-half points, including making four three-points as well as fighting her way to the rim to score a layup with three seconds left in the half to send the Cavaliers to the locker room trailing by seven, 38-31, at the break.

"Franklin was really knocking them down for us," Boyle said. "She took what they gave her. I think she and Kelsey Wolfe were the two people on the team who really took what came to them. Everyone else was rushing shots and throwing bad shots up which created a lot of their transition points."

Fueled by a jumper and a three-pointer by Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.), Virginia mounted an 8-0 run midway through the second half. The Cavaliers had a chance to tie the game with Amanda Fioravanti (Frederick, Md.) getting fouled and going to the line to shoot two. She missed both attempts, but Virginia got the ball back with Gerson pulling up for a free throw line jumper, however she couldn't convert from there either. West Virginia answered with an 8-0 run of its own, scoring four of those points off eight free throw attempts, to push the lead back to 57:48 with 8:30 remaining.

Franklin's season-high 23 points was the 12th time in her career she eclipsed the 20-point plateau. She also added two assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

Gerson finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Fioravanti scored six points with five rebounds in nine minutes on the court.

Virginia's 10 three-pointers was the first time the team had connected on double-digit threes since making a school-record 14 at Rider on Jan. 2, 2008.

The two teams combined for 49 fouls with both squads ending both halves in the double bonus.

Next week, Virginia will face its first ranked opponent this season, taking on No. 3/4 Tennessee in the opening game of the Junkanoo Jam Tournament on Grand Bahama Island. The Lady Vols and Cavaliers will face off at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Virginia will play either Southern Methodist or Kansas State on Friday, Nov. 30 at either 5:45 or 8 p.m. in its final game of the tournament.