Dec. 20, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team heads to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide in a battle of teams with 6-3 records. The game tips on Friday, Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. local time).
Virginia is coming off a 54-44 shorthanded victory over Coppin State on Tuesday night (Dec. 18). The Cavaliers were playing without their leading scorer, Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.), who was sidelined with a concussion she sustained in practice. Franklin, who is averaging 12.5 points per game, is expected to play against Alabama.
Forward Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) also sat out the Coppin State game with a concussion she sustained in practice. Her status has yet to be determined for the Alabama game.
Guard Faith Randolph (Fr., Derwood, Md.) was inserted into the lineup in Franklin's place, giving the guard the first start of her career. She scored six points with four rebounds.
The Cavaliers had their most dominant performance on the boards of the season, outrebounding the Eagles 45-20 (+25). Forward Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) had 13 rebounds, the most by a Virginia player in a game so far this season. Center Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.), in her second start of the season, had her first double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Egwu joined forward Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) as the only Cavalier players so far this season to register a double-double.
Guard Kelsey Wolfe powered the Cavaliers at the end of the Coppin State game. Wolfe hit three three-pointers in the final eight minutes, including a pair in the final two minutes, helping UVa to outscore the Eagles 21-4 in the final eight minutes of the game.
Wolfe ended the game with 14 points, the third time this season she has paced Virginia in scoring in a game.
Imovbioh leads the ACC in shooting percentage (68.0 percent). In her last five games, she is 20-for-26 (76.9 percent) shooting from the field. She only has two games this season where she has missed more than two shot attempts.
Alabama comes into the game after falling 58-52 to Wofford in a home game Monday night. The Crimson Tide started the game making just one of their first 11 shots and finished the game 0-for-12 from three-point range. Senior Meghan Perkins led the game in scoring with 18 points while sophomore Kaneisha Horn pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.
On the season, Alabama is led in scoring by sophomore Daisha Simmons, who averages 13.9 points per game. She is also the team's leader in assists (4.5 apg), blocks (1.1 bpg), steals (3.8 spg) and minutes (33.9 mpg). As a team, the Tide is averaging 74.1 points per game. Alabama came into the week leading the nation in steals per game (16.6 spg) and turnover margin (+14.3).
The Cavaliers own a 2-0 all-time record against Alabama. The Cavaliers and Crimson Tide last faced one another in 2005 at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands with Virginia earning a 69-48 victory.
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 tournament will wrap up the Cavaliers' regular-season non-conference games. Virginia returns to ACC play on Thursday, Jan. 3 when it hosts Virginia Tech.