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No. 21 Hoos tops Colorado

Lexie Gerson, courtesy UVa Media RelationsThe No. 21 Virginia women’s basketball team defeated a pesky Colorado team on the road, 74-59, Saturday at the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colo. Cavalier All-American guard Monica Wright led all scorers with 24 points and moved into sole possession of second place on Virginia’s all-time scoring list.

Wright was 10-for-19 from the field and added seven rebounds and three steals. She began the game tied with Heather Burge (1990-93) as No. 2 on Virginia’s all-time scoring list, and has now scored 2,082 points. She is chasing Dawn Staley’s record of 2,135 points.

Whitny Edwards just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Simone Egwu added nine points and four rebounds for the Cavaliers. Paulisha Kellum chipped in eight points and had four assists and four rebounds.

UVa head coach Debbie Ryan improved to 3-0 against Colorado, and 2-0 against former Cavalier guard and Colorado head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller.

Virginia (10-3) built its largest lead of the first half, six points, with eight minutes left. Colorado chipped away however and eventually took the lead on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Chucky Jeffery, 24-22, with four minutes left.

In the last four-minute segment, UVa out-scored the Buffaloes 9-5, and took a 31-29 lead into the locker room at halftime. Ten of UVa’s 11 available players saw minutes in the first stanza, and Egwu led the Cavaliers with seven first-half points.

UVa’s defense clamped down in the second half, and the Cavaliers prompted a CU timeout at the 11:14 mark when Lexie Gerson finished an alley oop lay-up in transition that put Virginia up, 46-35.

Colorado guard Bianca Smith kept the Buffaloes in the game with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers that cut the Cavalier lead to six points at 50-44 with 7:35 left in the game. Another 3-pointer by Smith, her fifth of the game, pulled Colorado even closer, 52-50, with 5:45 left in the game.

Virginia did not let it get closer than that, however, as Wright countered with back-to-back baskets (one 3-pointer) to put Virginia up 57-50.

In the last five minutes, Virginia maintained a comfortable cushion and made three throws down the stretch to win by a final score of 74-59.

Colorado (9-3) was led by 23 points from Smith and 20 from Spears. Virginia out-rebounded the Buffaloes, 43-30, and had a 20-12 advantage in points in the paint.

Next up for UVa is a Monday night game vs. St. Bonaventure at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip-off is 7 p.m.