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Dec. 17, 2006

Virginia continues its four-game home stand with No. 6/6 Connecticut on Monday, Dec. 18. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. espnU will televise the game live nationally. UVa will then take a 10-day holiday break before hosting its own Marriott Cavalier Classic on Dec. 28-29 at JPJA.

The No. 6/6 Huskies, under the helm of 22nd-year head coach Geno Auriemma, stand 6-0 after an 84-26 win at Georgetown on Dec. 7. Junior forward Charde Houston paces UConn with 14.5 ppg. Sophomore guard Renee Montgomery follows with 13.8 ppg, while junior guard Mel Thomas adds 12.5 ppg. Freshman center Tina Charles grabs a team-best 8.2 rpg.

Virginia and Connecticut are tied 2-2 in series action. The teams last met in the 1995 NCAA Tournament regional final in Storrs, Conn., with the Huskies winning 67-63. UVa and UConn first met at the 1991 Final Four in New Orleans with the Cavaliers advancing to the national championship game with a 61-55 win.

Connecticut assistant coach Tonya Cardoza, now in her 13th season, graduated from Virginia in 1991 with a degree in anthropology.

The Kodak District All-American also earned All-ACC honors twice and All-State honors three times during her Cavalier career. A four-year letterwinner, Cardoza helped the Cavaliers to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1991, Cardoza led Virginia to a 61-55 victory over UConn in the Final Four semifinal with team-highs of 16 points and three steals.

On Virginia’s career charts, Cardoza currently ranks No. 8 in points (1,622), No. 8 in field goals (630), No. 7 in field goal attempts (1,319), No. 8 in field goal percentage (.460), No. 5 in free throws made (338), No. 10 in rebounds (667), No. 5 in blocks (110), and No. 3 in steals (375).

For the fifth time in their illustrious coaching careers, UConn’s Geno Auriemma and UVa’s Debbie Ryan will square off on opposite benches. Before Auriemma became the HuskiesâÂ?TM head coach in 1986, he worked as an assistant coach under Ryan at Virginia for four seasons. Ryan credits Auriemma, a Philadelphia native, with discovering All-American Dawn Staley when she was in seventh grade.

Virginia eclipsed the century mark in its fifth straight win with a 100-60 victory over Cleveland State on Saturday night at the John Paul Jones Arena. Senior Brenna McGuire (Winchester, Mass.) paced the âÂ?~Hoos with a career-tying 22 points, including a career-best six three-point buckets. Junior SharneÃf© Zoll (Marlboro, N.J.) followed with 17 points. Sophomore Abby Robertson (Springfield, Va.) came off the bench for a career-high 15 points. Sophomore Lyndra Littles (Washington, D.C.) rounded out the double-digit scoring with 12 points. Junior captain Tara McKnight (Bluffton, S.C.), a fan favorite, played the gameâÂ?TMs final five minutes, heaving three consecutive three-point baskets and scoring the 100th point. McKnight finished with a career-best nine points.

As a team, Virginia re-wrote the school record for treys made in a game with 13. The previous record was 11 treys, accomplished on seven occasions. Virginia also improved its record to a perfect 31-0 in games where it scores 100 points or more. The last time UVa scored 100-plus points came in a 116-63 win over St. Francis on Nov. 27, 2000.

Overall, Virginia out-rebounded Cleveland State, 41-37. The Cavalier shot 50 percent (33-66) from the field, while the Vikings shot 34 percent (21-62). The â�~Hoos went to the charity stripe 26 times, competing 81 percent (21-26), while CSU was 13-of-18. UVa forced 24 turnovers while committing just 14.

After 10 contests, sophomore Lyndra Littles leads the Cavaliers with 15.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Freshman Monica Wright follows with 13.1 ppg, while junior SharneÃf© Zoll adds 11.7 ppg and 50 assists. UVa out-scores its opponents by +14.2 points and out-rebounds its foes by +3.1 boards.

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