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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Virginia defeated North Carolina A&T, 88-59, Tuesday night in the opening round of the 2010 Marriott Cavalier Classic at John Paul Jones Arena. With the victory, the Cavaliers advance to the championship game of the tournament and will face East Tennessee State on Wednesday (Dec. 29) at 7 p.m.

Prior to that game, Holy Cross and North Carolina A&T play the 4:30 p.m. consolation game.

With the victory over the Aggies, the Cavaliers remained unbeaten in John Paul Jones Arena this season (6-0) and improved their overall record to 8-5. UVa is seeking its eighth-consecutive Marriott Cavalier Classic team title.

The loss dropped North Carolina A&T’s record to 3-6.

Virginia freshman Jazmin Pitts (Mosely, Va.) scored a career-high 17 points in her first-career start. Pitts was 7-for-10 from the field and also grabbed four rebounds.

Junior forward Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) was the other Cavalier that scored in double figures, as she finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

UVa’s 88 points were a season-high.

Jaleesa Sams led North Carolina A&T with 13 points.

In the first game of the tournament, East Tennessee State (4-6) defeated Holy Cross (4-8), 90-68, to advance to Wednesday’s championship game.

Destiny Mitchell led four Lady Bucs in double figures with 20 points and also grabbed six rebounds.

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