Virginia Opens WNIT Play Thursday at Home vs. Howard
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s basketball team begins play in the 2012 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Thursday (March 15) at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip-off vs. Howard is scheduled for 7 p.m., and live statistics will be available at VirginiaSports.com. The game will air locally on WINA 1070 AM in the Charlottesville area. That broadcast, along with live video, will be available on the Internet at VirginiaSports.com with a subscription to Cavaliers Live.
Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $7 for youth, students and seniors. Suites and courtside seats are $11. All tickets, excluding suites and courtside seats, will be sold as general admission. Doors to John Paul Jones Arena will open at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com, by calling the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 542-UVA1 or in person at the John Paul Jones Arena box office beginning 90 minutes prior to tip-off.
Game day parking will be available, free of charge, at John Paul Jones Arena and University Hall parking lots.
Virginia (22-10, 9-7 ACC) earned an at-large berth to the 64-team postseason tournament. The Cavaliers have posted a 14-3 record at home this season and have won four of their last five games overall.
Seniors Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) and Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) will be playing in their 133rd and 130th games in Cavalier uniforms, respectively. The school record for games played is 135 by Heather Burge from 1990-93.
Moorer leads the team by averaging 14.2 points per game and was a second-team All-ACC selection. She is the Cavaliers’ active career scoring leader with 1,233 points, a total that ranks her No. 19 on Virginia’s all-time scoring list.
Shine is the team’s leading rebounder at 5.8 rebounds per game and also adds 8.1 points per game.
Sophomore Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) averages 12.2 points per game while junior Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) adds 8.9 points per game and leads the team with 100 steals. Gerson was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team while Franklin earned honorable mention All-ACC recognition.
Howard (24-8, 14-2 MEAC) has won 14 of its last 16 games and won an automatic berth to the WNIT by virtue of its second-place finish in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Tamoria Holmes leads the Bison by averaging 18.4 points per game, while Saadia Doyle adds 17.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Virginia and Howard have met once in program history – a 2001 meeting at University Hall in Charlottesville. Virginia won that contest, 76-51.
Virginia has participated in the WNIT four times (1980, 2006, 2007 and 2010) and holds an 8-5 record in 13 games. It is Virginia’s 30th overall postseason appearance.
UVa advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and the semifinals in 1980.
The winner of Thursday’s contest will face the winner of Richmond vs. Miami (Ohio) in the second round.
For more information on the 2012 WNIT, please visit www.womensnit.com.