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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Junior forward Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds and the Virginia women’s basketball team held on to defeat Drexel, 63-54, Saturday night at John Paul Jones Arena.

With the win, UVa improved to 5-4 on the year and dealt Drexel (5-1) its first loss of the season. The Dragons were previously off to their best start in school history.

Shine finished 8-for-14 from the field and added two blocks and two steals in an outstanding all-around effort. Sophomore center Simone Egwu (Odenton, Md.) contributed nine points and eight rebounds from the other frontcourt position, while guards Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) and Whitny Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) chipped in nine points apiece off the bench.

Drexel took a 17-15 lead on a 3-pointer by Kamile Nacickaite with 9:47 left in the first half. Over the next five minutes and 39 seconds, Virgina held the Dragons scoreless and eventually ended the half on a 13-3 run. The ‘Hoos led, 28-20, at halftime.

Shine had a monster first half for Virginia, connecting on 7-of-12 shots from the field for 14 points in addition to six first-half rebounds.

Virginia shot 50 percent from the field (13-for-26) and 60 percent from behind the 3-point line (3-for-5) in the second half and earned its largest lead of the game, 56-37, at the 7:37 mark.

Drexel rallied however and connected on back-to-back 3-pointers with under five minutes to play to cut the Cavalier lead to seven points, 56-49, with 4:21 to play.

Shine came up big for UVa on the Cavaliers’ next possession, and converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 3:25 left to extend the Cavaliers’ lead back to double digits. The Cavaliers were able to finish strong and earn the 63-54 victory.

Freshman Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) made her first-career start and finished with a team-high four assists.

The Cavaliers out-rebounded the Dragons, 63-54, and improved to 5-0 when out-rebounding opponents this season.

Up next, Virginia hosts Radford on Monday (Dec. 6). Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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