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Women’s basketball: Virginia plays at NC State on Thursday

uva basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team (9-6, 2-0 ACC) plays at NC State (12-3, 1-1 ACC) on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

All of the 2017-18 Virginia women’s basketball games – home and away – are available locally on the radio on NewsRadio 1070 AM and 98.9 FM WINA. The game will also stream live online as an ACC Network Extra production.

The Cavaliers head into the game riding a five-game win streak, their longest of the season. The streak began when UVA returned from a 12-day exam break, picking up wins over Ohio and Indiana in the West Palm Invitational, continued with a win over Manhattan before a six-day break for the holidays and was extended with conference victories last week over Pitt and Syracuse. Virginia last started 2-0 in the ACC in 2015 when they opened the campaign with back-to-back wins over Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The team is vying to start the season 3-0 in ACC play for the first time since 2001.

Senior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) scored a team-high 15 points against Syracuse, going 3-of-5 from three-point range. Huland El is averaging 12.5 points per game in the two conference games this season and is 7-of-15 shooting (46.7 percent).

Sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) had back-to-back double-doubles against Pitt (10 points/10 rebounds) and Syracuse (12 points/10 rebounds), her first double-doubles against ACC teams and her first in back-to-back games. Aiyeotan has led the team in rebounding in six of the last seven games. She has 117 rebounds this season, ranking sixth in the ACC. She has moved into the top-10 in rebounds per game, ranking eighth at 7.8. Aiyeotan also moved back into the ACC lead in blocked shots with 39 this season, averaging a conference-best 2.6 per game.

Both Virginia and NC State are receiving votes in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll. NC State is also receiving votes in the AP poll.

NC State went 11-2 in non-conference play, with its only losses coming against South Dakota State and Rutgers. The Wolfpack are coming off a 55-47 loss to Louisville on Sunday. The Wolfpack scored one point in the first quarter against the Cardinals and were held without a field goal through the first 15 minutes and 11 seconds. NC State missed its first 25 field goal attempts and looked up at a 26-1 deficit on the scoreboard before Armani Hawkins hit a three-pointer from the corner with 4:49 remaining in the second quarter. NC State rallied late in the game, outscoring Louisville 46-29 over the final 25 minutes of the game and pulled to within four points with 3:16 to play, but the No. 3 Cardinals held on for the victory.

The Wolfpack have four players averaging double figures, with Chelsea Nelson leading the team with at 14.2 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Virginia leads the all-time series, 39-35. NC State has won four the last five match-ups, including a 59-48 game last season at JPJ. Virginia’s last victory in Raleigh was a 55-47 game in 2012.

Virginia returns home to host Clemson (10-4, 0-1 ACC) on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.

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 open Monday 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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