March 6, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Virginia women's basketball team (14-16, 6-10 ACC) will face Georgia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC) on Thursday, March 6 at 6 p.m. in the second round of the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
The winner of the game will advance to take on second-seeded Duke (22-5, 12-4 ACC) in a quarterfinal game on Friday, March 7 at 6 p.m.
All 14 games of this year's tournament are set to be televised. The first, second and quarterfinal rounds will be carried by the league's regional sports network, RSN. Both of Saturday evening's semifinal games will be carried nationally by ESPNU, while a national audience will watch Sunday's championship game on ESPN. All games will also be available via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
Virginia's tournament games will also be carried on the radio on WINA 1070-AM with John Freeman, Larry Johnson and Myron Ripley calling the action.
Virginia has never lost to Georgia Tech in an ACC Tournament game, holding an 8-0 record against the Jackets. UVa defeated Tech, 70-69, to win the 1992 ACC Tournament title. Virginia holds a 52-13 advantage in the overall series, but has lost four of the last five meetings against Georgia Tech including a 95-76 loss earlier this season in Atlanta.
Virginia is coming off a 74-59 first-round victory over Boston College, snapping a four-game losing streak. It just the second time in five seasons that Virginia won an ACC Tournament game. The last time Virginia won two games in the tourney was 1994 when the Cavaliers had a 63-45 victory over Maryland in the semifinals that sent the Cavaliers to the finals to face North Carolina at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C. Virginia has made nine semifinal appearances since 1994, but all of those came by virtue of opening tournament action those years in the quarterfinals.
The Cavalier seniors helped lead the charge against the Eagles. After starting the game 0-of-7, Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) scored 12 points in the first half, all in the final 3:33 before the break. Franklin finished with a game-high 23 points, moving her past DeMya Walker (1996-99), Virginia's honoree in this year's ACC Legends, into 11th place on the Virginia career point list with 1,604 points.
Senior guard Kelsey Wolfe (Germantown, Md.) hit a pair of three-pointers in the second half that extended the Virginia lead to 15, 64-49, with just over five minutes left in the game. Wolfe also added four assists and four steals.
Franklin, Wolfe and fellow-senior guard Lexie Gerson combined to go 8-of-18 from three-point range in the game. Gerson hit a three-pointer in the first two minutes of both the first and second halves, helping to drive early momentum. Gerson has made at least one three-pointer in 13 of the last 14 games and scored the 900th point of her career yesterday.
Franklin and Gerson combined to go 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 2:16 of the game to close out the victory. The Cavaliers were 10-of-10 overall from the stipe in the second half.
On Wednesday morning, Sophomore guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Sixth Player of the Year by a vote of the conference's head coaches. Randolph, who only started four games this season but averaged 23.4 minutes per game, led all non-starters in the ACC by averaging 12.4 points per game. Despite coming off the bench this season, Randolph was second on the Cavaliers in scoring, posting five 20-point performances, and logged 42 steals. Randolph is ranked in the top-15 in the conference in free throw percentage (75.7 percent) and the top-25 in scoring in conference games, averaging 13.7 points per game.
With Randolph's selection, Virginia becomes the first school to have two Sixth Player of the Year honorees since the award began in 2008. Ariana Moorer was named in 2011.