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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Miami defeated Virginia, 82-73, Thursday night in women’s basketball action at John Paul Jones Arena. It was the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

With the loss, Virginia’s record went to 10-6 overall (0-1 ACC). The Hurricanes improved to 15-1 (1-0 ACC). It was the first home loss of the season for UVa.

Virginia senior guard Paulisha Kellum (Upper Marlboro, Md.) scored 19 points to lead the Cavaliers, and passed the 800-point mark for her career. She finished 7-for-11 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line for her highest scoring game of the season.

Junior guard Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) added 17 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Cavaliers, while rookie guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) chipped in 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Miami guards Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams came into the contest as the ACC’s No. 1 and No. 2 leading scorers. Johnson finished with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. Williams added 22 points for the Hurricanes, and forward Morgan Stroman finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double.

Virginia led by as many as five points in the first half, but Miami took its first lead at 31-29 on a Sylvia Bullock baseline lay-up with 4:23 left in the period. The Cavaliers countered with a 5-0 run to take a 34-31 lead on an acrobatic, fastbreak lay-up by Lexie Gerson at the 2:28 mark. Miami bounced back with an 8-0 run of its own, however, and held a 39-34 lead at halftime.

Virginia battled to within one point, 57-56, on a lay-up by Moorer at the 8:09 mark of the second half, but could not pull even with Miami. Another Hurricane run, this time 7-0, gave Miami a 64-56 lead after two free throws by Johnson with 6:45 left. Down the stretch Virginia got no closer than six points.

Miami scored 23 points off 20 Virginia turnovers and held a 14-4 advantage on fast break points. Rebounds were tied as each team pulled down 38.

ACC action continues for Virginia with a two-game road swing – Jan. 9 at Florida State and Jan. 13 at Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers’ next home game at JPJA is Sunday, Jan. 16 vs. Pennsylvania at 2 p.m.

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