Jan. 15, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (11-5, 3-2 ACC) is back on the road this week in Chapel Hill, N.C., taking on No. 11/19 North Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the Regional Sports Networks [FS South, Sun Sports (South Florida), FS Florida (Central and North Florida), Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus, NESN, FS Arizona Plus, FS Detroit Plus, FS North Plus, FS San Diego, FS Prime Ticket].
The Tar Heels hold a 47-32 advantage in the all-time series and are 34-30 against UVa in ACC contests. The Cavaliers have only beaten UNC once in the last 17 meetings, an 82-78 double overtime win in Charlottesville in 2010. Both meetings last year, when the Heels were ranked No. 25, were close with Virginia falling 78-73 in double overtime in Charlottesville and 64-56 in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels will be the fourth ranked opponent the Cavaliers have faced this season, with Virginia coming away with two losses (No. 9 Maryland, No. 25 West Virginia) and a win (No. 17 Vanderbilt) in those games.
UNC leads the ACC in steals, averaging 14.6 per game against conference opponents. Virginia is third with 10.6 steals per ACC game. Both teams' defenses have been stingy with UNC allowing 56.8 ppg in ACC games and Virginia allowing 59.0. Except for the double-overtime loss at Alabama, the Virginia defense has not allowed an opponent to score more than 59 points in the last eight games. Even in the Alabama game, Virginia held the Crimson Tide to 58 points in regulation
The Cavaliers rank No. 28 in the national rankings in scoring defense with opposing teams shooting 34.4 percent.
The Cavaliers, who have won five of their last six games, are coming off a 78-59 victory over NC State. The Cavaliers broke open a 51-51 game by outscoring NC State 27-8 in the final 10 minutes to earn the win. Virginia also went on a scoring run in the first half after trailing by 13 points with just over five minutes to play, scoring 11 points to close out the period, while keeping the Wolfpack off the scoreboard through the end of the half.
Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germantown, Md.) had her third 20-point game of the season, scoring 24 against the Wolfpack. Virginia started the season with five games (out of its first six) in which a Cavalier player scored at least 20 points in a game. However, Wolfe's performance was the first 20-point game for a UVa player since Nov. 19 when she scored 22 at Minnesota.
Wolfe started the game making five of Virginia's first eight baskets while assisting on two others. In the second half, Wolfe only made one basket, a three-pointer that put the game out of reach in the final two minutes, but still scored 11 points in the period by going 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Wolfe is averaging 19.7 ppg in her last three games and has moved into a tie for the team's scoring leader, averaging 12.3 ppg. She leads the team in scoring average in ACC contests at 13.8 ppg. In the last three games, Wolfe has 12 steals and 12 assists (4.0 per game), including tying a career high with six assists against NC State. Wolfe has also made at least one three-pointer in seven of her last eight games.
Aside from the 24-point performance at home against NC State, Wolfe's top games have come on the road. In six away games, Wolfe is averaging 17.2 ppg.
Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) had the third double-double of her career against NC State with 15 points and 11 rebounds. It was also her third double-double in the last three games, averaging 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in that span. McCall, who is fifth in the ACC in rebounding (8.4 rpg), has led the Cavaliers in rebounding in six of the last eight games. She is averaging 9.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game against ACC opponents.
Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) is averaging 13.6 ppg in ACC contests with four double-digit scoring performances in conference games and has scored in double digits in five of her last six games. In addition to scoring baskets, Franklin also has 14 assists in the last three games (4.6 per game). Franklin has been a fixture on the floor, playing at least 38 minutes in each of the last five games and averaging a conference-best 38.4 minutes in ACC contests. Franklin has played 40 minutes in three of the last four games.
China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) is shooting 93.3 percent (14-of-15) from the free throw line in ACC games this season, leading the conference in that stat. The point guard has only missed one free throw in her last nine games (16-of-17). She has also been shooting the ball from the field, making at least one three-pointer in seven of her last eight games. She scored 10 points against NC State, her fourth double-digit game of the season.
Wolfe, McCall, Franklin, Crosby and Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.), the starting five for the Cavaliers, have combined to score 168 of Virginia's 194 points in the last three games (86.5 percent).
Coming off the bench against NC State, Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) had seven rebounds in 10 minutes on the floor. Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria), who went 1-for-1 against NC State, is currently tied for the ACC lead in field goal percentage (63.8 percent).
The Department of Athletics announced this week that Virginia senior swimmer and Olympic Gold Medalist Lauren Perdue will be honored at the Georgia Tech game on Feb. 3 during the National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration. National Girls and Women in Sports Day brings national attention to the achievements of female athletes and to issues facing girls and women in sport. The event is co-sponsored by the University of Virginia Athletics Department and the University of Virginia Women's Center. Perdue will be honored on the court at halftime of the Virginia-Georgia Tech women's basketball game, which will be carried live on Regional Sports Networks. She will also sign autographs prior to the contest in the Kids' Zone, located in the northeast corner of the lower level concourse at John Paul Jones Arena.
Perdue, a native of Greenville, N.C., won gold with the U.S. women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 London Olympics. Perdue became the first Virginia female swimmer to medal since Melanie Valerio won gold with the U.S. 4x100m free relay in 1996. In addition to her accomplishments in international competition, Perdue was the 2011 ACC Swimmer of the Year and ACC Swimmer of the Championships
. In 2010, she was named the ACC Freshman of the Year and ACC Swimmer of the Championships
. She is a 12-time All-American and 17-time ACC champion
and is the ACC and school record holder in the 100 and 200 freestyle events
as well as the school record holder in the 50 freestyle
The Cavaliers will be back home on Sunday, Jan. 20 when they host Miami at 2 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The two teams played one another two weeks earlier on Jan. 6 when Miami defeated Virginia, 58-52, in Coral Gables. Miami was receiving votes in the polls when the two teams played. They were ranked No. 24/25 in last week's polls, but have slipped back out of the top-25 this week.
The Virginia/Miami game will be streamed live online via ESPN3.