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March 3, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va – The Virginia women’s basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak, upsetting No. 24 Florida State, 72-60, in the final regular-season game. Senior Simone Egwu (Odenton, Md.) lit up the court with a double-double, scoring a season-high 17 points and tallying 11 rebounds. Freshman Faith Randolph(Derwood, Md.) also contributed in a big way, notching a career-high 19 points.

“I’m really excited,” said head coach Joanne Boyle. “I am excited about the win, excited about ending on a good note, excited for the seniors and excited we put together a good game that we’re capable of. We beat a good team.”

Florida State’s Chelsea Davis scored the first basket of the game with a layup about a minute in. Randolph and Ataira Franklin(Jr., Bowie, Md.) regained the lead a minute and a half later with a jump shot and a layup. The Seminoles trailed the remainder of the half and went into the break down 30-25.

Florida State tied the game on a layup from Leonor Rodriguez with 16:09 left in the game. Rodriguez was fouled on her drive to the hoop, making the free throw to give FSU a 37-36 advantage, the first of 13 lead changes in the second half.

Randolph hit a trey from the top of the arc with 4:14 left in the game, giving Virginia a 58-53 lead. After a quick shot and miss by the Seminoles, Egwu grabbed the defensive board and scored a layup on the opposite end to extend the Cavalier lead to 60-55 with 3:36 remaining.

In the final two minutes of the game, Virginia was fouled five times, making all 10 free throws.

“Out there today was the team of old,” Boyle said. “We got traps in the corner. [Alexa] Deluzio got loose on us a couple times in the zone, but you’re never going to keep a great player like that down for long. We won the 50-50 balls. We hit the free throws down the stretch. The patience on offense and finishing layups down the stretch were all game changers for us. We’ve been in games like this, but those are the things that kept us from winning.”

With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 16-13 (8-10 ACC) while the Seminoles fell to 21-8 (11-7 ACC). It was the second time this season Virginia knocked off a top-25 opponent. The Cavaliers defeated No. 17 Vanderbilt, 73-66 back in November,

FSU went 8-of-20 from three-point range, with Deluzio knocking down six of those, while Virginia went 3-of-15, with Randolph hitting a pair. Virginia won the rebounding battle 44-29.

Franklin scored 18 points, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. She also had four steals, two assists, and a blocked shot.

Imovbioh, starting for the fourth-straight game, scored 13 points. The ACC-leader in field goal shooting percentage was 4-of-6 from the field and made 5-of-6 free throws.

China Crosby(Sr., New York, N.Y.), one of four seniors honored before the game, had seven assists and three steals to go with four points and three rebounds.

The Cavaliers will head to the ACC Tournament, playing a first-round game on Thursday, March 7. Opponent and game time will be announced later Sunday evening when the complete bracket is released.

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