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UVA women’s basketball hosts Saint Mary’s Friday night

uva basketballThe UVA women’s basketball team (7-2) hosts Saint Mary’s (7-2) on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena, the second game in a three-game week for the Cavaliers.

The game will be broadcast on WINA-1070 AM with Channing Poole and Myron Ripley calling the action.

Virginia opened the week with a 91-49 victory over Longwood on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers had their best shooting performance of the season, going 38-of-68 (55.9 percent) from the field. UVa opened the second half making 10 of its first 11 shots, shooting 63.9 percent in the period, the second time this season the team shot over 60 percent in a half.

The Cavaliers had six players finish the game scoring in double-figures, the first time the squad has had that many double-digit scorers in a game since a Feb. 6, 2007 game against North Florida.

Senior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) led the squad with 25 points, the second 25-point performance of the season by a Cavalier. Imovbioh went 11-of-14 from the field, raising her season field goal shooting percentage to an ACC-best 64.0 percent. Imovbioh also added 15 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season.

The Cavaliers committed just six turnovers, the fifth time this season the team has turned the ball over fewer than 10 times. Virginia had a season-low five turnovers in the second game of the season against Radford, the only game this season with fewer miscues by UVa.

On the flip side, Virginia logged 15 steals, with freshman guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) grabbing four, and forced 20 Longwood turnovers, scoring 25 points off those opportunities.

Virginia dominated Longwood in the paint, outscoring the Lancers 50-12 down low while also blocking a season-high eight shots. Freshman forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) and sophomore guard Tiffany Suarez (Miami, Fla.) blocked three shots apiece.

The Cavaliers have shot better than 50 percent in three of the last four games.

In the last two games, the Cavaliers have shot 54.7 percent (76-of-139) while their opponents went 39-of-115 (33.9 percent).

Associate head coach Kim McNeill will be handling the head coaching duties for the second game in a row as Joanne Boyle has not yet returned from finalizing an adoption.

This will be the first-ever meeting between Virginia and Saint Mary’s. The Gaels entered the week with an RPI of 46.

As a team, Saint Mary’s leads the West Coast Conference in rebounding margin at +12.4.  Lauren Nicholson leads the WCC in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game.  Stella Beck leads the WCC in field goal percentage at 61.7 percent.  Hayley Hendricksen leads the WCC in free-throw percentage at 92.6 percent while Shannon Mauldin is third in the league in steals with 2.4 per game.

Saint Mary’s split its Fresno State/Cal Poly roadtrip last week.  Against Fresno State, the Gaels nearly pulled off the comeback of the ages.  Once down 41-21, the Gaels went on a 26-6 run to tie the game late in the second-half before eventually falling to the Bulldogs, 60-56.  SMC overcame a game-tying buzzer beater by Cal Poly to defeat the Mustangs in overtime, 65-64.

This will be the second ACC game of the year for the Gaels after falling to Boston College, 82-72, in the season-opener.

The Cavaliers will take a short break for the holidays after hosting Howard (1-9) on Sunday (Dec. 21).Sunday’s game is at 6 pm instead of the usual Sunday afternoon matinee as the men’s team is playing Harvard atnoon.

The Cavaliers return to game action after the holidays on Sunday, Dec. 28 when they host the Cavalier Classic Presented by Holiday Inn University Area. Drexel and Miami (OH) open the tournament at 12 p.m. with Virginia taking on Davidson at 2:30 p.m. This year, the tournament will have set match-ups as opposed to a pure “classic” format, with Miami (OH) and Davidson playing at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 29 followed by Virginia and Drexel at 7 p.m. An All-Tournament Team will still be announced, but there will not be a tournament champion.

Single-game ticket prices for all home games are $10 for Reserved seating, $8 for adult General Admission and $6 for youth (18 & under), senior (60 & over) and UVa faculty/staff General Admission. Fans may purchase home game tickets through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone and in person. The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and openMonday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).

 
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