Returning to the court after the exam break can often be difficult for college basketball teams. The routine is disrupted, the holidays are approaching, etc. But the Virginia women's basketball team - like their male counterparts - had no such problem.
On Sunday, the Cavaliers hosted Radford. Unfortunately, I can't say they were gracious hosts. Virginia absolutely demolished the Highlanders, more than doubling their score in a 92-43 rout. Coach Boyle, I think you need to teach these ladies some manners. Just kidding. I love drubbing opponents.
Five Cavaliers scored in double-figures against Radford while nine players scored at least five points. Virginia was led by Lexie Gerson, who dropped in 19 on 6-of-8 shooting (4-of-6 from 3 point range). Jazminn Pitts (16), Telia McCall (13), Ariana Moorer (10) and Ataira Franklin (10) were the other four Wahoos to reach double figures.
Last night's game against James Madison wasn't the blowout that the Radford game was - in fact, Virginia faced a double-digit deficit in the second half - but the end-result was the same: Another victory over an in-state foe, 59-53.
The Dukes came into JPJ last night riding a two game winning streak over the Cavaliers. But gone from the JMU program was all-everything Dawn Evans who tormented just about everyone, Cavaliers included. Still, it was a tough battle. Virginia only held the lead twice in the first half - both times by one point and didn't take the lead for good until there were less than three minutes left in the game.
Ariana Moorer extended her double-digit scoring streak to ten games with her 12 points, but it was Ataira Franklin that got most of the attention, scoring a game-high 22 points. Chelsea Shine added 12 points and eight rebounds to round out the double-digit scoring for Virginia.
An interesting note that was called out in the official write-up: Virginia has now held seven consecutive opponents (and ten overall) to less than 60 points. That might sound familiar to the fans of the men's team - that's the same benchmark called out repeatedly for them. While the average scoring is certainly lower in the women's game, holding that many opponents to under 60 points is still very impressive.
Up next for the Cavaliers is the 2011 Marriott Cavalier Classic on December 28th and 29th. Virginia will host Wagner on the 28th and either Elon or UMass on the 29th. After New Years, the ladies head down to Durham to begin ACC play against the Blue Devils on January 2nd.