Feb. 16, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (15-9, 7-6 ACC) hosts No. 7/8 Maryland (20-4, 11-2 ACC) in the annual Play4Kay game on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
For the seventh straight year, ESPN will support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the V Foundation, by airing 12 women's basketball games over two days, Sunday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 18, as part of the Play 4Kay initiative.
Included in those 12 games is the Virginia/Maryland matchup. The majority of the country will see the best action of the day with whip-around coverage between sites and updates from other games. In the 16 home markets of the competing teams, ESPN2 will start and remain primarily with the game of local interest.
ESPN3 will have the eight regionalized games in their entirety.
Play4Kay, formerly known as the WBCA Pink Zone game, is an initiative that began in 2007 in an effort from coaches to raise breast cancer awareness. The initiative, formerly known as the WBCA Pink Zone game, is named after the late North Carolina State head coach, Kay Yow. In support of the initiative, the Cavalier players will be wearing pink jerseys and pink shoes during the game and 3,000 pink shakers, courtesy of the UVA Health System, will be handed out at the door. The UVa athletics department provided complimentary tickets to the game for cancer survivors and there will be a special recognition for cancer survivors at halftime.
The Cavaliers are 0-2 this season against teams ranked in the top-10, including a 79-55 loss at then-ranked No. 9 Maryland on Dec. 6. This is the second top-10 ranked opponent for the Cavaliers in the last two weeks after falling 62-41 to No. 5/4 Duke on Feb. 8.
Maryland, who snapped a nine-game win streak with a 71-56 loss at Duke last Monday (Feb. 11), rebounded with a dominant 75-45 victory over Clemson on Thursday (Feb. 14) in which Tianna Hawkins and Alyssa Thomas combined for 47 points and 20 rebounds.
Maryland has won the last four meetings with Virginia, but the Cavaliers have a 43-36 edge in the all-time series. Virginia's last victory over the Terps in Charlottesville was an 89-81 game on Jan. 30, 2009.
The Cavaliers closed out January winning five of six games (Jan. 10-27), but have started February dropping three of their last four games. The UVa offense has been held to 50 or fewer points each of the last three games, including its victory at Virginia Tech.
During the six-game stretch to close out January, the Cavaliers were shooting 42.6 percent from three-point range, making 6.3 treys per game while attempting 14.8. During the February slide, UVa is shooting 12.8 per game, but only making 1.8 with a 13.7 percent efficiency.
While the outside shooting has been cold, the posts have stepped up their production. Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) has had back-to-back double-digit rebounding games for the first time in her career, pulling in 11 rebounds at Georgia Tech and 15 at Boston College. The 15-rebound performance at BC matched this season's high for rebounds by a UVa player in a game. Imovbioh also scored 12 points in the BC game, giving her a double-double, her first since Dec. 29 against Xavier.
Imovbioh played 26 minutes at Virginia Tech and 25 minutes at Boston College after averaging 9.7 minutes in each of her first 11 ACC games.
Against Maryland in December, Imovbioh scored 10 points in 13 minutes, going 6-for-9 from the free throw line and 2-of-3 from the field.
Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.) scored 12 points at Boston College, making six of her eight field goal attempts.
Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.), who sat out the Boston College game recovering from a concussion, has averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in her last three games, going 20-for-22 from the free throw line. McCall is ranked seventh in the ACC, averaging 8.2 rebounds per game.
Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) snapped a streak of six straight games scoring in double digits with a nine-point performance at Boston College. Franklin is averaging 14.0 points per game in ACC contests this season, ranking 10th among all players in the conference. She has led the team in scoring in five of the last seven games.
The Cavaliers, who will have four regular-season games remaining after the Maryland game, next travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3. Virginia will host Wake Forest on Monday, Feb. 25 in a game that will be broadcast live on the ACC Regional Sports Networks.