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Virginia (5-2) at No. 9 Maryland (4-2)

Date and Time Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 7:00 p.m. Location College Park, Md. | Comcast Center
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Dec. 4, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (5-2) plays its first ACC game of the season at No. 9 Maryland (4-2) on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

Both teams head into Thursday’s contest coming off tough losses. Last Sunday, the Cavaliers fell 54-47 to No. 25 West Virginia in a tough defensive match-up. Maryland took on No. 2 UConn Monday night in the Jimmy V Classic, falling 63-48.

Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.), in her second appearance of the season, scored a team-high 14 points against WVU. She was the fourth different Cavalier to lead the team in scoring in a game. Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) scored 12 points, her team-leading fifth double-digit performance of the season, but has yet to lead the team in scoring in a game so far this season.

China Crosby (Sr., New York, N.Y.) had six of the Cavaliers’ seven assists against the Mountaineers, her third game this season with five or more assists. Crosby, in her last two games, has 12 assists with just three turnovers (4-to-1 ratio).

The Terrapins are playing without guards Laurin Mincy and Brene Moseley. Both suffered ACL injuries this season. Mincy tore the ACL in her right knee early in the second half of Maryland’s win over Nebraska last Wednesday. Moseley injured her left knee on Oct. 21. Moseley was the third ACL injury for the Terps this season. Senior center Essence Townsend tore her ACL in an exhibition game in October.

Maryland leads the nation in rebounding margin, averaging 22.6 more rebounds per game than its opponents. Virginia is outrebounding its opponents by 6.4 per game.

Including Maryland, the Cavaliers last five opponents have either been ranked or were receiving votes in at least one of the polls. Maryland is ranked No. 9 in both polls this week. The Cavaliers had received votes in both polls each of the first four weeks, but did not receive any votes this week.

Maryland will finish this year and play one more season after that in the ACC before joining the Big Ten in 2014-15. The Terps hold a 38-29 advantage over the Cavaliers in conference games and a 43-35 overall record against Virginia. Maryland won all three meetings last season, including a 70-58 victory in the ACC Tournament. Virginia’s last victory over Maryland was a 60-57 win in College Park on Feb. 13, 2011.

This will be the first of two regular-season meetings between the two teams. Maryland will play in Charlottesville on Sunday, Feb. 17.

In addition to the Maryland/Virginia game, Georgia Tech is also playing at Duke on Thursday. These are the first two ACC conference games of the season.

Virginia is 22-13 all time in ACC openers. Last year, the Cavaliers fell 77-66 at Duke to open conference play. The last time Virginia won its conference opener was a 77-59 victory over No. 25 Wake Forest in 2008-09. The last time the Cavaliers opened the ACC season playing the Terps was the 1989-90 season when Virginia toppled No. 14 Maryland, 82-79.

The Cavaliers are shooting 50.4 percent in true road games this season and 49.7 percent in all four games they have played away from John Paul Jones Arena. Virginia has overcome double-digit deficits in both of their road contests this season.

Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) leads the team in shooting percentage (68.2 percent), ranking second in the ACC. In her last four games, Imovbioh is 16-for-20 (.800 percent) from the field, with just one missed basket in her last two contests. Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) is eighth in the ACC at 53.7 percent (22-of-41).

The Cavaliers currently have three players averaging in double figures. Imovbioh leads the team with a 12.7 points-per-game average. Franklin is averaging 12.1 ppg and Kelsey Wolfe (Jr., Germantown, Md.) is averaging 11.6 ppg. Imovbioh also leads the team in rebounding with 7.3 rpg.

Wolfe is third in the ACC in steals per game (2.86) and ranks fifth in free throw percentage (92.6).

After taking on the Terps, the Virginia players will have an 11-day break for finals. The Cavaliers return home on Tuesday, Dec. 18 when they host Coppin State at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.

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