Dec. 1, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (5-1) hosts No. 25/23 West Virginia (3-2) on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers are playing their second ranked opponent of the year, taking on No. 25/23 West Virginia. The Mountaineers fell 11 spots in this week's AP poll after back-to-back losses to LSU (71-63) and Iowa (79-70). Virginia's previous two opponents, Syracuse and Minnesota, were both receiving votes in the polls. The Cavaliers defeated No. 17 Vanderbilt, 73-66, in the opening game of the San Juan Shootout.
Virginia holds a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series against West Virginia. The Cavaliers lost the last meeting between the two, 57-43, played at the 2010 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands when West Virginia was ranked No. 10 in the polls. The Cavaliers are 4-0 against the Mountaineers in games played in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 90-68 victory at Minnesota on Thursday night. Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germantown, Md.) scored a career-high 25 points in the game, her second 20-point game of the season.
Virginia made over 60 percent of its field goal attempts in the first half, going 15-for-24 (62.5 percent). It was the second time in the last three games that the team shot over 60 percent in a half after starting the Vanderbilt game scoring on 15-of-22 (68.2 percent) shot attempts.
The Cavaliers finished the Minnesota game one make shy of shooting 60 percent for the game, with a 33-for-56 (58.9 percent) efficiency. It was the best shooting night for the team since UVa went 33-for-53 (62.3 percent) against Georgia Tech on March 2, 2008.
Virginia trailed the Gophers by 10 points, 18-8, with 15:25 left in the first half. It was the second time this season that UVa erased a double digit deficit in a road game with the Cavaliers coming back after trailing by 15 points early in the second half at Penn.
Virginia had a great passing game against the Gophers. China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) had six assists to zero turnovers. Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) had a career-high eight assists. It was the first time two UVa players had five or more assists in the same game since Jan. 21, 2012 against Boston College.
Sarah Beth Barnette (R-So., Lexington, Ky.) only played seven minutes in the Minnesota game, but she made the most of her time, scoring seven points in those seven minutes. Barnette was a perfect 2-for-2 from the field (including connecting on her one three-point attempt) and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.) also had an efficient first game of the season. Egwu, who had been sidelined since the week before the season-opener with a stress reaction in her shin, scored five points in eight minutes on the court.
The Atlantic Coast Conference won this year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge by a 7-5 mark. The Cavaliers' victory over the Golden Gophers was the seventh win, tipping the scales in the ACC's favor. Virginia's 22-point victory over Minnesota was the largest point differential in the 12 Challenge games. Maryland's 19-point victory over Nebraska (90-71) was the second largest. Two ACC teams (Virginia and Maryland) and one Big Ten squad (Illinois, 95) put up 90 points in their games.
The men's 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge ended in a 6-6 tie. The Cavalier men won their 2012 contest at Wisconsin, 60-54.
Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) leads the team in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.5). Imovbioh came into the week tied for eighth in the ACC in points-per-game and 15th in rebounding. She leads the team in shooting percentage (66.7 percent), ranking fourth in the ACC and 7th in the NCAA.
Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) is a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line this season. She was 2-for-2 from the stripe at Minnesota.
Wolfe had made16 consecutive free throws, spanning five games (11/12-29), before missing an attempt at Minnesota. Wolfe came into the week tied for third in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage (9.5 percent) and ranked 13th among all NCAA Division I players.
Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) has had the best three-game stretch of her career. In her last three games, Pitts is averaging 14.0 ppg while shooting 62.0 percent from the field (18-of-29). This is the second time in her career she has scored in double digits in three straight games. She started the 2011-12 season with three double-digit scoring efforts, averaging 12.0 ppg in that span.
Pitts is one of four different Cavalier players to score 20 or more points in a game this season. A Virginia player has scored at least 20 points in five of the Cavaliers' six games this season.
After the West Virginia contest, the Cavaliers have one final game on the schedule before breaking for finals, heading up to College Park to take on No. 11/10 Maryland on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. It will be the first ACC game of the season for both teams. After taking on the Terps, the team will have an 11-day break. The Cavaliers return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 18 when they host Coppin State at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.