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CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s basketball team won its eighth-consecutive Marriott Cavalier Classic title with a 53-38 victory over Massachusetts on Thursday (Dec. 29). Senior guard Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) was named the tournament’s most valuable player and was joined on the all-tournament team by sophomore guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.).

Virginia capped off an undefeated month of December (7-0) and improved to 9-0 at home this season. Overall, the Cavaliers are 12-2 as they head into Atlantic Coast Conference play (Jan. 2 at Duke).

With the loss, UMass’ record dropped to 5-9.

Junior guard Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) was the Cavaliers’ high-scorer with 12 points and added six steals and three rebounds. Moorer tied a career-high with seven steals in addition to her 11 points and senior forward Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) notched a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Trailing 22-18 after a 3-pointer by Minutewoman guard Emilie Teuscher, Virginia scored 10 unanswered points to take a 28-22 lead on a free throw by Franklin with 20 seconds left in the first half.

UMass answered with a jumper by Teuscher and the Cavaliers led 28-24 at halftime.

In the second half, UMass cut the Cavalier lead to two, 28-26, on the first basket of the stanza which was a Jasmine Watson lay-up at the 19:46 mark. Virginia answered with a 3-pointer from Gerson and the Minutewomen never got closer down the stretch as UVa won going away, 53-38.

UVa out-rebounded UMass, 36-31, and forced 28 Minutewomen turnovers.

ACC play begins on Monday (Jan. 2) when Virginia travels to Durham, N.C., to face Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

2011 Marriott Cavalier Classic All-Tournament Team
Brittney Thorpe, Wagner
Aiesha Harper, Elon
Megan Zullo, UMass
Jasmine Watson, UMass
Ataira Franklin, Virginia
Ariana Moorer, Virginia *

*Most Valuable Player

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