Nov. 27, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (4-1) heads to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota (6-1) on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. ET in an ACC-Big Ten Challenge game. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network with live audio streaming on VirginiaSports.com All-Access.
What began as a four-year agreement, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is now in its sixth year and has been extended until 2016. The ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge matches teams from each conference in head-to-head competition, traditionally on the first Wednesday and Thursday after Thanksgiving following the ACC/Big Ten Men's Basketball Challenge. The Cavalier men will be playing at Wisconsin on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The ACC won the first four Challenge titles, while in 2011 the two conferences each won six games for the first tie in Challenge history. The inaugural Challenge in 2007 saw the ACC collect its all-time high of eight victories.
The Cavaliers have a 4-1 record all-time in the Challenge, as Virginia defeated Wisconsin (2007), Illinois (2008), Purdue (2009) and Indiana (2011). UVa's lone loss in the event was at Ohio State in 2010.
Virginia and Minnesota will meet for the fifth time, with the Golden Gophers holding a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams last played for the 2003 Cavalier Classic championship in Charlottesville, a 73-62 Minnesota victory.
The Cavaliers had two big post performances during the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico. Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) had her second 20-point game of the season against Syracuse. Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) scored a career-high 20 points against Vanderbilt.
Imovbioh scored Virginia's first nine points of the Syracuse game and was in double digits for scoring in the first five minutes of the contest. In the two games, she averaged 17.5 points per game in just 23.5 minutes per game. She had a hot shooting hand, converting 12-of-15 (80.0 percent) of her attempts from the field and going 11-for-12 (91.7 percent) from the free throw line.
In addition to Imovbioh, China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) also had a pair of double-digit scoring efforts, her first of the season, with 13 points against Vanderbilt and 10 points against Syracuse. Crosby also tied a career high with seven assists in the Vanderbilt game.
Pitts also had back-to-back double digit scoring performances, following up her 20-point performance with a 10-point game against Syracuse.
Faith Randolph (Fr., Derwood, Md.) had the first 10-point game of her career against Syracuse. Randolph had 18 points and seven assists in the two games, going 4-for-5 from three-point range.
Imovbioh leads the team in both scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.8). She comes into the week tied for eighth in the ACC in points per game and 15th in rebounding. She also leads the team in shooting percentage (66.7 percent), ranking fourth in the ACC and seventh in the NCAA.
Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germantown, Md.) came into the season averaging 2.8 points per game in her career. She is currently averaging 10.8. She also leads the team in assists with 18 (3.6 per game) and steals with 16 (3.2 per game). Wolfe has also converted her last 15 free throw opportunities and has not missed a free throw since early in the second half of the season-opener against James Madison. She is 21-for-22 (95.5 percent) from the charity stripe this season. Wolfe is tied for third in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage and is ranked 13th among all NCAA Division I players. Last year, she only made 28 free throws (out of 38 opportunities) the entire year.
The Cavaliers return home on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m., facing their second ranked opponent of the season, No. 25 West Virginia. The Mountaineers fell 11 spots in this week's poll after back-to-back losses to LSU (71-63) and Iowa (79-70).