Dec. 17, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team (5-3) hosts Coppin State (3-6) on Tuesday (Dec. 18) at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
This is the first game back for both teams after finals. The Cavaliers had an 11-day break after last playing on Dec. 7, falling 79-55 at No. 9 Maryland on Dec. 7. The Eagles lost to Virginia Commonwealth, 57-46, in a home game on Dec. 8.
This will be the second-ever meeting between the Eagles and the Cavaliers. UVa earned an 87-42 victory on Dec. 20, 1995 when the two teams met in Charlottesville.
Coppin State was chosen to finish third in the 2012-13 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll. The Eagles return three starters and eight letterwinners after posting a 20-12 overall record and a 13-3 conference mark last season.
Both teams are looking to snap losing skids. Coppin State has lost its last four games, including an overtime loss at Morgan State and a three-point loss at Towson. The Cavaliers have dropped two in a row, with both losses coming at the hands of top-25 ranked teams. In the last five seasons, Virginia has only had one stretch in which it has lost three straight games, falling to Miami, Florida State and Georgia Tech in consecutive games during the 2010-11 season.
Virginia is also coming off a tough stretch of games. Including Maryland, the Cavaliers' last five opponents had either been ranked or were receiving votes in at least one of the polls when they faced Virginia. Maryland was ranked No. 9 in both polls with West Virginia ranked No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Virginia mounted a comeback at Maryland, going on a 16-2 run in the second half to narrow the margin. Jaryn Garner (Fr., Sewell, N.J.) scored seven of the 16 points. Garner hit two jumpers, including one in which she drew a foul and went to the line to convert the and-one. Garner also made a key pass to find an Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) in the lower left corner. Franklin drained a three-pointer after the feed. Garner played a season-high 15 minutes against Maryland, scoring a career-high eight points.
Franklin was one of three Cavalier players scoring in double digits against the Terps. Her team-high 15 points marked the first time this season that Franklin led the team in scoring in a game. She leads the squad with 12.5 points-per-game. Franklin has hit eight three-pointers in her last three games.
Jazmin Pitts (Junior, Mosley, Va.) scored 10 points at Maryland, going 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) scored nine points in the second half of the Maryland game despite only playing six minutes. Imovbioh leads the ACC in shooting percentage (68.1 percent). In her last five games, she is 18-for-23 (78.2 percent) from the field. Pitts is 15th in the ACC at 50.0 percent (24-of-48).
The Cavaliers have one final game before Christmas, heading to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide on Friday, Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. ET. After another short break, Virginia will host the Cavalier Classic presented by Holiday Inn University Area. This year's tournament, held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29, features Norfolk State, Northern Illinois and Xavier. The Cavaliers will play in the 7 p.m. game each day. They open the tournament taking on Norfolk State and then will face the winner of Northern Illinois and Xavier in the tournament finale.