No. 15 Virginia Tops South Dakota State, 78-66
FREEPORT, The Bahamas – The 15th-ranked Virginia women’s basketball team won its division at the Junkanoo Jam by defeating South Dakota State, 78-66, Friday night. Paulisha Kellum led the Cavaliers with a career-high 25 points en route to tournament most valuable player honors.
Kellum connected on 7-of-10 shots from the field and added five rebounds in addition to her 25 points. Ariana Moorer chipped in 10 points, three assists and three steals, while Monica Wright moved into third place on Virginia’s all-time scoring list with eight points and nine rebounds.
Wright surpassed current assistant coach Wendy Palmer, who played from 1992-96 and scored 1,918 career points. Wright now has 1,922 points and was also named to the all-tournament team.
Virginia got out to an early 13-5 lead in the game, but South Dakota State put together an 11-0 run to take a 16-13 lead with 12:46 left in the first half. Another run by the Jackrabbits, this time 10-2, gave them their biggest lead of the contest at 28-20 with 6:22 left.
Virginia fought back with a run of its own, however, and capped off an 11-1 run with an fast break layup by Wright to recapture the lead at 31-29. The Cavaliers ended the half strong and took a 39-34 lead at halftime.
Kellum had 14 first-half points to pace the ‘Hoos offense.
In the second half, South Dakota State got no closer than six points and the Cavaliers came away with the 78-66 victory.
Virginia returns to action on Thursday, Dec. 3 when it hosts Purdue at John Paul Jones Arena. The game is part of the 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge and tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.