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March 01, 2015

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| Video: Post Game Press Conference

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)Faith Randolph and Virginia have been waiting all season to put a complete game together that they could build on.

The junior shooting guard hopes they got it Sunday, just in time for the women’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Randolph scored 23 points, Sarah Imovbioh added 22 points and 17 rebounds and the Cavaliers finished the game on a 28-10 run to beat No. 8 Louisville 75-59 in the final regular season game for both teams.

”It feels good,” Randolph said. ”We’ve just been fighting this whole season. We just wanted to get that good win and I feel like we got it today.”

They needed it in the worst way, too, both because of games where they sabotaged themselves, and others that turned on a bounce.

Three nights earlier, at No. 15 North Carolina, the Cavaliers were poised to send the game to overtime when the Tar Heels scored on a tip in at the buzzer to win 72-70. A week before that, Virginia blew a 10-point lead in the final 4 minutes at Pittsburgh, then lost in overtime, 68-63.

This time, after Louisville used a 13-2 run to take a two-point lead, the Cavaliers (17-12, 7-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored 16 of the next 20 points to rally for just their second victory in the last seven games. Breyana Mason added 11 points and Randolph also had eight assists.

”We’ve been really knocking on the door with some big teams and it’s really nice on Senior Night at home to be able to come up with a `W,”’ Virginia coach Joanne Boyle said.

It also came on a night when Imovbioh scored her 1,000th career point, and Randolph got within four points of joining her.

”I didn’t even know that coming into this game,” Imovbioh said of the milestone. ”I was actually surprised when people were giving me high-fives.”

Emmonni Henderson scored 13 points and Shawnta’ Dyer had 12 to lead Louisville (24-5, 12-4). The Cardinals had already clinched the third seed in the ACC tournament, but shot 33 percent (20-60) and lost for the second time in seven games. Virginia, conversely, shot 51.2 percent (21-41).

”We let us not making some open shots at the offensive end effect how we defended,” Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said. ”We’re not good enough to allow a team to shoot 50 percent from the field and expect to win.”

The game turned after the teams traded runs in the second half, with Louisville using its burst to take a 47-45 lead. The game was tied at 47 and 49, but the two free throws by Mason that pulled Virginia even started the run that gave the Cavaliers something to hope to build on in the ACC tournament.

The victory was their first against a top 10 team since they beat Maryland on Jan. 23, 2014.

The Cavaliers outscored the Cardinals 28-10 over the final 8 minutes.

The Cardinals forced 27 turnovers and turned them in to 38 points in their last game, a 77-60 victory against Boston College. They forced 21 by Virginia, but converted them in to just 17 points. … Cardinals scoring leader Mariya Moore made her first shot, a 3-pointer, then missed 10 of 11.

Imovbioh had 14 defensive rebounds; Louisville had 19.

The Cavaliers held the Cardinals without a 3-pointer (0-9) in the teams’ first meeting at Louisville on Jan. 18, the first team Virginia has blanked from 3-point range since Norfolk State in 2012. Mariya Moore made sure it wouldn’t happen again, making one 22 seconds into Sunday’s game.

Louisville, seeded third, will play an opponent to be determined in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Friday.

Virginia secured the ninth seed in the ACC and will play the eighth seed (Pitt or Miami) in the second round of the ACC tournament Thursday.

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