Virginia Hosts No. 11 Miami Thursday at JPJA
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s basketball team plays its second-consecutive top-15 opponent on Thursday (Jan. 19) when it hosts No. 11 Miami at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the game will be streamed live online as part of Cavaliers Live, UVa’s live audio and video streaming offering. Live statistics will be available at VirginiaSports.com, and the game will be broadcast over the airwaves on WINA 1070 AM in the Charlottesville area.
Virginia (14-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) is coming off a 68-61 loss at No. 8 Maryland on Monday (Jan. 16). The Cavaliers held the ACC’s top-scoring offense to its second-lowest point total of the season, as the Terrapins entered the contest averaging 83.2 points per game.
Junior guard Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) led UVa with 15 points vs. Maryland and continues to shine on the defensive end of the floor. Gerson leads the Cavaliers and ranks second in the ACC (23rd nationally) by averaging 3.3 steals per game. She had four steals vs. the Terrapins while shooting 6-for-15 from the field and connecting on three 3-pointers.
Senior guard Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) and Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) are Virginia’s co-leading scorers, as each average 12.4 points per game. In conference games only, Franklin’s scoring average is 15.6 points per game which ranks her tied for seventh among players in conference games only.
As a team, Virginia ranks second in the league and 14th in the nation by limiting opponents to 52.6 points per game.
Against ranked opponents this season, Virginia holds a 1-4 record highlighted by a 69-64 overtime victory over then-No. 3 Tennessee on Nov. 20.
Miami (15-3, 3-1 ACC) is ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press and No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll. The Hurricanes own the ACC’s second-most potent offense and average 80.4 points per game. The squad is coming off of a 60-57 win at Florida State on Sunday (Jan. 18).
Riquna Williams (16.7 ppg) and Shenise Johnson (16.2 ppg) are the Hurricanes’ top scorers and rank second and tied for fourth, respectively, among ACC scoring leaders. Johnson also leads the league in steals per game (4.0).
Virginia leads the all-time series with Miami, 7-2, but the Cavaliers lost on their home floor last season, 82-73. That Hurricane win snapped a six-game Virginia win streak in the series.
In games played in Charlottesville, UVa holds a slight 3-2 advantage. Miami played at John Paul Jones Arena in the 2011 NCAA Tournament first and second rounds, defeating Gardner-Webb (80-62) but falling to Oklahoma (88-83) for the right to advance to the regional round.
It will be a quick turnaround for Virginia, as the Cavaliers host Boston College on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 7 p.m. That contest will be streamed by Cavaliers Live at VirginiaSports.com.