March 6, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
The No. 6-seed Virginia women's basketball team (16-13, 8-10 ACC) faces the No. 11 seed, Boston College (13-16, 5-11 ACC) in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday, March 7 at 8 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C. The game will be televised on the ACC Regional Networks.
The Cavaliers finished the regular season alone in sixth place in the conference standings after upsetting No. 24 Florida State, 72-60, in the season finale. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Cavaliers, the longest skid since the 2006-07 season.
Boston College closed out its season with a 74-68 victory over Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech had been in a tie with Virginia for sixth place before the loss dropped them into a tie with NC State for seventh. The victory moved BC out of a tie for last place into a tie for ninth in the standings, but it earned the No. 11 seed through tie-breakers.
This will be the second consecutive year that Boston College and Virginia will meet in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. Last year, the No. 6-seed Cavaliers defeated the No. 11-seed Eagles, 72-41, to advance to face No. 3-seed Maryland in the quarterfinals.
This will be the third meeting in the ACC Tournament between the two teams. UVa also defeated BC, 83-72, in the opening round of the 2006 ACC Tournament. This is also the second-straight season that Virginia comes into the tournament on the heels of a victory over Florida State. Last year, UVa won 66-57 in Tallahassee to close out the regular season.
The two teams split the 2013 regular-season series with both teams defending the home courts. On Jan. 24, Virginia won 69-57 in Charlottesville while Boston College earned a 61-49 victory on Valentines Day in Chestnut Hill.
In the game at Boston College, the Eagles were 8-of-18 from three-point range. Virginia was playing without starter Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.), who was sidelined with a concussion. UVa led by seven points in the first half but made just one basket in the final five minutes of the game. Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds in 25 minutes on the court.
In the Virginia victory over BC in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers held a 33-27 lead at halftime. Coming out of the break, Boston College did not score a field goal for the first 12:51 of the second period, starting the half going 0-for-16 from the field, allowing Virginia to cement a double-digit lead. The Eagles cut the Cavalier lead to single digits, 65-56, on a three-pointer with 1:42 left in the game. Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) ended the game with 18 points, going 4-for-8 from three-point range with five rebounds and two assists. Imovbioh, in 15 minutes on the court, went 5-for-6, scoring 13 points with nine rebounds.
Virginia holds an 11-3 advantage in the all-time series.
Virginia is 3-0 in the ACC Tournament playing as the No. 6 seed taking on the No. 11 seed.
Since the ACC Tournament moved to the Greensboro Coliseum in 2000, the Cavaliers have only lost their first game in the tournament four times, most recently when Virginia fell to Wake Forest, 74-68 in the 2011 first round game. No. 3 Virginia fell to No. 6 NC State, 66-59, in the quarterfinal in 2010, the Cavaliers opening game of the tournament after earning a first-round bye.
Virginia is 9-13 in ACC Tournament games held in Greensboro. UVa has made five semifinal appearances in the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, but has never advanced to the championship game there.
All-ACC first team honoree Franklin leads the team with a 14.2 scoring average, which ranks seventh in the ACC. The guard has scored 20 or more points in three of the last five games, averaging 19.6 ppg in that span. She leads the conference in minutes per game (36.0), is eighth in steals (2.2 per game), eighth in free throw percentage (78.6 percent) and 13th in three-point shooting (35.7 percent).
She also leads the team in blocked shots with 21.
Imovbioh is tied for the conference lead with a 58.9 percent field goal shooting percentage. In the last three games, she is averaging 13.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. She has 21 offensive rebounds in her last three games (7.0 per game). In the two games against BC this season, she averaged 12.5 points and 12.0 rebounds, shooting 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from the field.
Point guard China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) is averaging 6.7 assists per game in her last three games and currently ranks seventh in the conference with 4.4 assists per game. Since the loss to Duke, she has posted a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio (seven games) with a positive ratio in six of those contests. In the last three games, she is averaging 6.0 points and 2.0 steals per game. In the two games against BC this season, she had eight assists to two turnovers. She also tied her career high with seven rebounds at Boston College.
Guard Faith Randolph (Fr., Derwood, Md.) had the best game of her rookie campaign against Florida State, scoring a career-high 19 points. She became the eighth different Cavalier to lead the team in scoring in a game this season. Randolph is averaging 8.7 points per game as a starter and averages 3.6 when she is coming off the bench.
The winner of the game between Boston College and Virginia will advance to take on the No. 3 seed North Carolina Tarheels on Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m. North Carolina (26-5, 14-4 ACC) earned the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye by tying for second place in the regular season standings with Maryland. Maryland won the coin toss to earn the No. 2 seed. North Carolina is ranked No. 15 in the latest Associated Press poll.