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CHARLOTTESVILLE Virginia topped NC State, 74-49, and senior point guard Sharne Zoll barely missed her first-career double-double with 12 assists and eight points while directing a balanced Virginia squad to its third-straight win.

The Cavaliers (16-5, 5-1 ACC) are off to their best start in Atlantic Coast Conference play since the 1999-00 season (also 5-1) and best overall start since 2004-05 (17-5).

Zoll was the catalyst, helping three Cavaliers score in double figures as she approaches the ACC’s all-time assists mark. For her career, Zoll has now handed out 687 helpers and is 43 away from breaking former UVa great Dawn Staley’s record of 729.

Lyndra Littles led all players with 17 points while Monica Wright filled the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks. Paulisha Kellum, meanwhile, netted 10 points and dished out three assists.

The Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 17-10 lead on a layup by Kellum with 11:08 left in the first half. NC State responded with a 5-0 run to pull within two on a Lucy Ellison layup, but the Cavaliers countered with a 7-0 run of their own to go up 24-15 with 7:44 left.

On the strength of 13 first-half points by Littles and a 53.3 percent shooting percentage, Virginia led 42-20 at halftime.

NC State got no closer than 13 points in the second half as Virginia finished strong with contributions from every available player.

Aisha Mohammed finished with eight points and nine rebounds, while Britnee Millner (two points, two steals), Kristen London (two points, one block), Tara McKnight, Enong Stovall (five rebounds, seven points, two blocks) and Kelly Hartig (two blocks) all saw key minutes down the stretch.

Khadijah Whittington led NC State with 15 points and nine rebounds. Shayla Fields (12 points) and Sharnise Beal (12 points) also had strong efforts for the Wolfpack.

The game was part of the WBCA’s “Think Pink” initiative, raising awareness and education of cancer prevention. The game was particularly meaningful for head coaches Debbie Ryan and Kay Yow, who have both battled cancer during their careers.

The game was streamed live on ACC Select and an archived broadcast is available.

The Cavaliers have a quick turnaround and will step out of ACC play one last time Monday night against Morehead State. Tip-off from John Paul Jones Arena is 7 p.m.

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