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CHARLOTTESVILLE Virginia opened its play at the 2007 Marriott Cavalier Classic by defeating Delaware State, 71-54, Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena. Lyndra Littles scored 18 points to lead the Cavaliers, who will play for the championship against Marshall Saturday at 7 p.m.

In the earlier game, the Thundering Herd rallied for the win over Missouri, 77-72. Delaware State and Mizzou will play in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Littles opened the game with two-straight baskets and the Cavaliers built an early 7-2 lead. The Lady Hornets battled back, however, and eventually took a one-point lead at 9-8 on a three-point play by Ashlee Burbage. From there, the teams traded baskets until Virginia built a 24-21 cushion with 4:36 remaining in the half. The Cavaliers ended the period on a 10-4 run and took a 34-25 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Virginia (8-4) held its ground and never let the lead drop to single digits down the stretch. For the Cavaliers, it marks the program-best, fifth-straight victory in John Paul Jones Arena.

Littles was outstanding, but got help from a supporting cast that included Monica Wright (16 points, seven rebounds, seven steals), Aisha Mohammed (12 points, seven rebounds), Sharne Zoll (nine points, seven assists) and Paulisha Kellum (eight points, five rebounds).

For Delaware State (3-8), Raquel Collier led the team with a game-high 20 points.

The 2007 Marriott Cavalier Classic concludes Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena. Missouri

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