Virginia Falls To James Madison, 68-59, In WNIT Quarterfinals
HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team ended its season with a 68-59 loss at James Madison in the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Sunday (March 25).
Virginia concludes the 2011-12 campaign with a 25-11 record, the most wins since a 25-9 effort in 1999-2000. James Madison advanced to the semifinals of the WNIT and improved to 27-7 this season.
Playing in her final contest as a Cavalier, Chelsea Shine (Wayne, Pa.) set a school record by playing in her 136th-career game. The previous record for games played was 135 by Heather Burge from (1990-93).
Also concluding her four-year career, Ariana Moorer (Woodbridge, Va.) was UVa’s leading scorer with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) added 15 points and three steals for the Cavaliers. Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) finished with eight points and Telia McCall (Marietta, Ga.) tallied six points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Virginia was out-rebounded by the Dukes, 46-40, and shot 31.7 percent from the field (19-for-60).
With the score tied at 23-23, Moorer connected on a jumper with 4:25 left in the first half that ignited an eventual 10-4 run to end the half by UVa. Virginia led, 33-27, at halftime.
The Dukes erased that six-point deficit and took a 37-35 lead with 15:54 remaining in the game on a fast break lay-up by Kirby Burkholder. After a UVa timeout, the Cavaliers responded on the other end with a reverse lay-up by Gerson with 15:26 left in the game that tied the score at 37-37.
Virginia got some breathing room at that point, taking advantage of a couple of JMU turnovers. Franklin’s first field goal of the game at the 12:43 mark put Virginia up, 45-39.
That six-point lead was again nullified by the Dukes as James Madison put together a 7-0 run, capped by an old-fashioned three-point play by Kiara Francisco, to take a 46-45 lead with 8:00 to play.
The teams traded baskets until back-to-back 3-pointers by Burkholder, including the second one with 3:29 remaining, gave James Madison a four-point lead, 59-55.
James Madison maintained that four-point lead by converting free throws down the stretch and extended it to six points, 65-59 on a lay-up by Kirby Burkholder with 59.6 seconds left.
Gerson missed a contested lay-up on the other end of the floor and JMU continued to make free throws in the final minute to hold on for the 68-59 victory.