Dec. 28, 2004
The University of Virginia women's basketball team won its fourth consecutive game with a 59-34 victory over UAlbany tonight in University Hall. The Cavaliers were led by fourth-year guard LaTonya Blue (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy) who had a game-high 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds, four steals, and a block. As a team, Virginia had 17 steals and forced 25 Great Dane turnovers while limiting the Great Danes to 23.3% shooting from the floor (14-60).
UVa improved 8-3 overall, while the Great Danes fell to 4-4.
After the Cavaliers scored the opening basket of the game, UAlbany's Jen Schumacher hit a three-pointer and the Great Danes raced out to a 9-6 lead before the Cavaliers had an 18-3 run over the next seven-and-a-half minutes to take a 24-12 lead with 8:13 to play in the half. The `Hoos first-year guard Sharnee Zoll (Marlboro, N.J./Highland) had three of her game-high six assists in that stretch, while fellow first-year Takisha Granberry (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte) added a pair of assists to go along with a pair of steals and a defensive rebound to help Virginia double-up the Great Danes at 24-12.
The Cavalier defense allowed the Great Danes only one free throw and one bucket from the 11:00 mark until 30 seconds remained in the half when Alicia Learn hit a jumper. The Cavaliers held for the final possession and fourth-year guard LaTonya Blue (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy) drove the lane and hit a runner with four ticks on the clock. UAlbany inbounded the ball and Tanya James threw up a deperation three from behind the halfcourt line that went right through the bucket, giving the Great Danes three points at the buzzer and a huge swing in momentum to end the first half.
The Cavaliers quickly squelched that momentum with a 12-4 run in the opening five minutes of the second half as Blue hit two jumpers and added a pair of rebounds, an assist and a steal in the sequence.
"We just told ourselves we were going to go for it to start the second half," said second-year guard Brenna McGuire (Winchester, Mass./BB&N), who led all players with three three-pointers in the game.
From there, the `Hoos pulled steadily away from the Great Danes as ten different Cavaliers found the scoring column, led by Blue's game-high 12 points.
Zoll led all players with six assists while nine different Cavaliers notched a steal.
UAlbany's Maree Jones led the Great Danes in scoring with eight points while Danielle Hutchinson led all players with 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Overall, Virginia out-rebounded UA, 48-37.
"Our defensive pressure was excellent tonight from everyone," said Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. "We have great team chemistry on the court and we are competing on every single possession."
The Cavaliers will face in-state rival James Madison in the championship of the Marriott Cavalier Classic on Weds., Dec. 29 at 7:00pm. The Dukes defeated American 63-61 in the first game of the tournament. American and Albany will face off at 4:30 on Wednesday in the consolation round.
Ryan will coach for her 600th career win in the game against James Madison. She has a career record of 599-243.
1 2 - Final UAlbany (4-4) 18 16 - 34 Virginia (7-3) 29 30 - 59
High scorer: V: Blue, 12 ; UA: Jones, 8 High rebound: V: Blue, 7, UA: Hutchinson 13 High assists: V: Zoll 6; UA: Learn, 2
Blue (UVa): 4 steals, 5 assists, 1 block
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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