CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The Virginia women's basketball team defeated Miami, 62-52, Sunday (Jan. 20) in Charlottesville.
It was the second meeting in two weeks for the squads. Miami won the first meeting, 58-52, in Coral Gables on Jan. 6 in a game in which the Cavaliers shot 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from three-point range. In today's Virginia victory, the Cavaliers made 6-of-10 three-point attempts, including a 3-for-3 performance from Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.).
With the game knotted 6-6, Franklin, China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) and Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germantown, Md.) hit back-to-back-to-back three pointers during a 10-0 run that gave the Cavaliers a 16-6 lead.
After Miami cut the lead to four, 18-14, with 11:04 left in the first half, the Cavaliers responded with a 9-0 run that included Franklin's second three-pointer of the game.
The Cavaliers went into halftime leading 36-25. Franklin and Crosby extended the lead to 15, 40-25, with a pair of jumpers to start the second half.
Miami chipped away at the lead, pulling within five, 51-46, with under six minutes left in the game. Wolfe took a three-point shot, scooping up the rebound off her miss for a layup. Franklin stole the ball and dished it out to Crosby, whose three-pointer put the Cavaliers back up by double-digits, 56-46 with 4:45 left in the game.
The Hurricanes narrowed the gap to eight, 58-50, with just under three minutes remaining, but the Cavalier defense didn't allow Miami to get a good look at the basket. Wolfe added a layup on a feed from Crosby with 1:19 remaining to push the lead back to double digits, 60-50. Two free throws by Franklin in the final minute made it a 12-point game. After a Miami layup with 30 seconds left in the game, the Cavaliers were able to dribble out the clock and close out the 62-52 victory.
"I'm really proud of my team, coming off the Carolina game and really responding," said head coach Joanne Boyle. "They knew that this could be a signature win for us. I thought they did a really great job of taking care of the ball, executing and playing great defense. Playing that last five minutes the way we did, I was really proud of them."
The Cavaliers had four players finish the game with double-digit points. Franklin scored 17 points, making six of her eight shot attempts. She also had five rebounds, four steals, and two assists. Crosby had 12 points, going 2-for-3 from three-point range, with four assists and three rebounds. Wolfe had 12 points with five rebounds. Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) scored 13 points with eight rebounds and two assists
"We knew this was going to be a very important game," McCall said. "We had to come out in the first five minutes of the game pressing the gas pedal and just going. We knew that they were going to try to push forward and we stopped them. I was proud of my team."
With the victory, the Cavaliers improve to 12-6 (4-3 ACC). Miami falls to 13-5 (4-3 ACC).
On Thursday, Jan. 24, the Cavaliers will host Boston College. It will be the first time this season the Cavaliers will play back-to-back ACC home games. Virginia will be on the road next Sunday, Jan. 27, playing at Wake Forest at 2 p.m.