Marriott Cavalier Classic Begins Tuesday at John Paul Jones Arena
CHARLOTTESVILLE – For the 25th time in program history, the Virginia women’s basketball team hosts the Marriott Cavalier Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 28 and Wednesday, Dec. 29. In the first match-up of the tournament, East Tennessee State and Holy Cross play at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by Virginia vs. North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. Live statistics will be available for both games at VirginiaSports.com.
The 7 p.m. UVa-North Carolina A&T contest will be broadcast over the airwaves on WINA 1070 AM in the Charlottesville area with Jay James, Myron Ripley and Larry Johnson calling the action. That broadcast is available on the Internet with a subscription to V Pass.
The consolation game of the Marriott Cavalier Classic begins at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 29), followed by the championship game at 7 p.m.
Virginia (7-5) has captured 21 of the 24 Cavalier Classic team titles since the tournament began in 1976. Started as a precursor to the ACC Tournament, the Cavalier Classic’s official name has changed several times throughout the years, but Virginia has won the last seven tournament titles.
Last year, Virginia defeated Liberty, 63-54, to claim its seventh-straight Marriott Cavalier Classic title. Then-freshman China Crosby (New York, N.Y.) was named to the all-tournament team, along with the tournament’s most valuable player and 2010 graduate Monica Wright.
Virginia is coming off an 82-80 loss at James Madison on Dec. 20. The Dukes rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to edge the Cavaliers behind Dawn Evans’ 42 points. Prior to that contest, Virginia had won three-consecutive games.
Junior forward Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) leads the team by averaging 11.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, followed by junior guard Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) with 10.6 points and 2.4 assists per game.
Rookie Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) has started four-consecutive games and recorded her first-career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds vs. James Madison.
North Carolina A&T (3-5) is coming off a 76-51 loss at Memphis on Dec. 19. The Aggies are led by Jaleesa Sams who averages 15.0 points per game and Jaquayla Berry who averages 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Virginia won its only previous meeting with North Carolina A&T, 82-36, on Dec. 20, 1996, in Charlottesville.
East Tennessee State (3-6) most recently dropped a 102-53 contest at Tennessee on Dec. 22. Tara Davis the team’s leading scorer at 13.0 points per game. Virginia leads the all-time series with ETSU, 2-0, but the teams have not met since 1983.
Holy Cross (4-7) has dropped three-consecutive contests, most recently a 76-65 decision at Northeastern on Dec. 21. Alex Smith and Whitney Fremeau both average 12.5 points per game to lead the Crusaders offensively.
Virginia holds a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series with Holy Cross, most recently winning 80-39 on Dec. 29, 2005, in Charlottesville.
Following the Marriott Cavalier Classic, Virginia hosts in-state foe Richmond on Monday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.