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CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s basketball team defeated Florida State, 62-52, Sunday (Jan. 29) at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers improved to 16-7 overall and 4-5 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Virginia also improved to 12-2 at home this season and topped the Seminoles for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

Florida State’s record went to 12-11 (4-5 ACC).

Senior guard Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) was the Cavaliers’ leading scorer for the seventh time this season, netting 15 points. She added four rebounds and two assists.

Junior guard Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) scored 13 points and added five steals for Virginia. Sophomore guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) was the third Cavalier in double figures for scoring, as she chipped in 11 points and tied a career-high with six steals.

As a team, Virginia forced 23 Florida State turnovers and scored 28 points off of those turnovers. The Cavaliers out-rebounded the Seminoles, 36-34.

Virginia took its largest lead of the first half on two free throws by Telia McCall (Marietta, Ga.) that made the score 26-18 in favor of the ‘Hoos at the 1:45 mark. Florida State ended the half on a 7-0 run, however, and battled back to within 26-25 on a put-back by Kristi Mokube as time expired in the half.

Cierra Bravard entered the game as the Seminoles’ leading scorer (14.5 ppg) and scored eight points in the first half despite two personal fouls in seven minutes of action.

Gerson drained a 3-pointer to open the second half and ignited an eventual 11-1 Cavalier run.

Virginia extended its lead to 10 points, 37-27, on a lay-up by Simone Egwu at the 16:00 mark.

The Seminoles cut the Cavalier lead to seven, 47-40, on a lay-up by Seminole forward Natasha Howard with 8:50 left.

Virginia scored on its next offensive possession off a lay-up by Gerson and maintained its composure down the stretch. Florida State did not get any closer for the remainder of the game.

Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) finished with eight points and six rebounds. She scored all eight of her points in the second half.

McCall turned in another solid performance off the bench, contributing eight points and three boards.

Bravard finished with 12 points for Florida State. Howard scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds.

Sunday was National Girls and Women in Sports Day at JPJA. Virginia field hockey players Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese were honored at halftime. Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) and Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) were members of the United States’ first gold medal team in field hockey at the 2011 Pan American Games held in October in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Americans upset world No. 1 Argentina 4-2 in the championship match to automatically qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. Both Cavaliers contributed with a goal apiece in the gold medal game.

Virginia is on the road for its next two games, facing North Carolina on Friday (Feb. 3) at 8:30 p.m., and NC State on Sunday (Feb. 5) at 2 p.m.

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