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No. 11/8 North Carolina Tar Heels (20-6, 8-4 ACC) at Virginia Cavaliers (13-12, 6-6 ACC)

Date and Time Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 6:30 p.m. Location Charlottesville, Va. | John Paul Jones Arena TV ACC Regional Sports Networks | ESPN3 Online Streaming
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Feb. 18, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –The Virginia women’s basketball team (13-12, 6-6 ACC) hosts No. 11 North Carolina (20-6, 8-4 ACC) on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

The game will be televised on the ACC Regional Sports Networks as well as streaming live online on ESPN3 with Mike Hogewood and Debbie Antonelli calling the action. The game will also be on the radio on WINA- 1070 AM with Channing Poole, Larry Johnson and Myron Ripley calling the action.

North Carolina has won 17 of the last 18 meetings between the two teams with Virginia’s last win coming in an 82-78 double-overtime game on Feb. 15, 2010. The Cavaliers trail the all-time series 48-32.

After suffering three-straight losses to Syracuse, Miami and Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels have rebounded with three-straight wins, averaging 88.3 points per game in those contests.

For the second week in a row, Virginia will face the reigning national player of the week. North Carolina freshman guard Diamond DeShields averaged 29.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game with a .541 field goal percentage as the Tar Heels picked up three ACC wins last week, including road triumphs at No. 3 Duke and No. 10 N.C. State, earning DeShields ACC Player of the Week honors while also garnering both the espnW and the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week awards. Last week, the Cavaliers faced Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall right after she was named the espnW National Player of the Week. In Sunday’s game at NC State, DeShields scored 38 points, going 12-of-23 from the field, with five three-pointers, and 9-of-9 from the free throw line.

Virginia has won its last four home contests, including upset victories over No. 17 Florida State and No. 9 Maryland. In those four home games, senior guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) is 11-of-18 from three-point range (61.1 percent), averaging 17.8 points per game.

In the last four home games, the Cavaliers have averaged 82.8 points per game, more than 12 points higher than their season average of 70.2 ppg., and have forced 79 turnovers while only committing 33, a +11.5 turnover margin per game.

Virginia is coming off an 80-64 victory on Sunday over Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers, who lead the ACC in turnover margin, forced 15 Tech turnovers while only turning the ball over six times. Virginia jumped out to a 9-0 lead, scoring all of those points off seven turnovers committed by the Hokies in the first 5:03 of the game.

Franklin has scored in double-digits in each of the last eight games, beginning with an 18-point performance against Florida State and including scoring 14 points against Virginia Tech. Franklin has hit 10 three-pointers in the last four games, going 10-of-20 from long range during that span while also averaging 4.0 assists per game.

Franklin’s 14 points against Virginia Tech moved her past Brandi Teamer (2002-05) and into 13th place on the Virginia career points list. With 1,527 points, Franklin needs 11 points to tie Daphne Hawkins (1984-88) for 12th place.

Redshirt senior guard Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) has made at least one three-pointer in each of the last nine games, going 2-of-4 against Virginia Tech.

Gerson, who is tied for the ACC lead in steals, has had at least one steal in each of the last eight games, moving into fifth place on the Cavalier career steals list with 242.

Junior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) has scored in double figures in each of the last four games and seven of the last eight games. Imovbioh averaged 20.0 points per game in last weekend’s games, with a 21-point performance at Georgia Tech followed by a 19-point game against Virginia Tech.

Freshman guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) posted back-to-back nine-point performances against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

The Cavaliers will face their second-straight ranked opponent, playing at No. 14/16 NC State on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. Virginia returns home for its final regular-season home game on Thursday, Feb. 27, hosting Miami at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.

Fans may purchase home game tickets through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office online at, by phone and in person. The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).

Single-game ticket prices for all games are $10 for Reserved seating, $8 for adult General Admission and $6 for youth (18 & under), senior (60 & over) and UVa faculty/staff General Admission. Family Packages are available for $11 each and include a reserved ticket and a concessions voucher valued at $8. A minimum of four tickets must be purchased to receive package pricing.

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