No. 19 Virginia Opens ACC Play Thursday At No. 11 Florida State

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE - The 19th-ranked Virginia women's basketball team will look to extend its four-game win streak when it opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Thursday at Florida State. The Cavaliers (11-3) and 11th-ranked Seminoles (13-2) square off at 7 p.m., at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla. Live statistics are available at VirginiaSports.com.

Additionally, the game will be broadcast over the airwaves on WINA 1070 in the Charlottesville area, and an audio broadcast can be accessed at VirginiaSports.com through V Pass.

Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan, Florida State head Sue Semrau and their respective coaching staffs will roam the sidelines barefoot on Thursday night, in an effort to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, an organization aimed to provide worthy children with a pair of shoes. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or slightly worn pair of shoes to donate to the cause.

Virginia has won its last four games, including a 72-64 win over St. Bonaventure Monday night in its last outing. The Cavaliers are led by Monica Wright (Woodbridge, Va.), who averages 21.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Wright is chasing Virginia's all-time scoring record, set by Dawn Staley (2,135 points in 131 games from 1989-1992), and has amassed 2,101 points in 115 games as a Cavalier. Entering Thursday's contest, Wright is 35 points away from becoming UVa's all-time leading scorer.

Whitny Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) ranks second on the team in scoring, averaging 8.5 points per game. She has scored in double digits in her last two outings, netting 14 points at Colorado (Jan. 2) and 11 points vs. St. Bonaventure (Jan. 4).

Also in the guard rotation is Ariana Moorer (Woodbrige, Va.), who has started the last four games for the Cavaliers and appears poised to take on full-time point guard responsibilities after the announcement that freshman China Crosby (New York, N.Y.) will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Moorer is averaging 7.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

In the frontcourt, Simone Egwu (Odenton, Md.) continues to establish herself as a force in the post. Egwu is averaging 6.5 points per game and has 12 of the Cavaliers' first 14 games.

Virginia has won two-straight ACC openers in 2007-08 and 2008-09, both against Wake Forest.

Florida State is ranked No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 13 in the Associated Press top 25. The Seminoles are coming off of a 77-64 win over Temple on Sunday (Jan. 3). Jacinta Monroe leads the team by averaging 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, followed by Alexa Deluzio (10.1 points per game). The Seminoles were ACC regular season co-champions in 2008-09 and return seven letterwinners from that squad.

Virginia leads the all-time series with FSU, 30-9. The teams split two regular-season meetings last year, with each team winning on the other's homecourt. On Feb. 24, 2009, UVa came away with a 68-63 victory over Florida State in Tallahassee.

Following Thursday night's game, Virginia returns to John Paul Jones Arena to face Maryland on Monday, Jan. 11. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be nationally televised by ESPN2 as part of its Big Monday women's college basketball prime-time Game of the Week series.