7:00 PM ET, January 27, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Monica Wright is Virginia's career scoring leader with 2,255 points, and her 22-point scoring average is seventh in the country. But the senior needs scoring help if the Cavaliers (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) are going to doing anything big in her final season.She got it Wednesday night from Whitny Edwards, who hit two huge 3-pointers late in the second half in Virginia's 73-60 victory over North Carolina State. Wright scored 26 points in the victory."They were right on time, exactly what we needed," Wright said of the shots. "We had gotten stops and we were in transition, so that was even better. They were electric and they got the crowd into it and that's what we really needed for some energy at that point."The first banked in from the top of the key with 5:35 to play, doubling Virginia's lead to 57-51, and was just the second 3-pointer in 12 tries for the Cavaliers. Suddenly confident, Edwards pulled up on a fast break and hit from the left side with 4:59 to go."I didn't call bank," Edwards said with a smile. "It just helped me out seeing the ball go into the net, so when I got the ball the second time on the break, I had confidence."It also helped getting a talking to from coach Debbie Ryan at halftime, who thought the Cavaliers' No. 3 scorer wasn't looking to make enough of an impact on the offensive end."I told her, 'If you're not rebounding and you're not looking to at least be a threat with the ball, then you're really no good to us,'" Ryan said. "She came in with a much better resolve to shoot the ball when she was open and those back-to-back threes were huge."The victory was the fourth in a row for Virginia (15-5, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), and Wright said seeing so many other scorers be part of it is a hopeful sign going forward."Every shooter, every scorer wants to know if my shot's not falling tonight, someone else is going to step up, and tonight it was coming from all areas," Wright said.For the Wolfpack (12-9, 2-4), it seemed like turnovers were coming from all areas. They committed 24 giveaways, many of them unforced, in losing for the fourth time in five games.Lexie Gerson added 11 points and Edwards and Chelsea Shine 10 each for the Cavaliers, and Wolfpack coach Kellie Harper said the balance beyond Wright makes Virginia more dangerous."When they can out points on the board without her exerting a lot of energy, that's going to make them a better basketball team," Harper said after her first game against the Cavs."The final nail in the coffin was the one she banked in," Harper said.N.C. State got 20 points from Bonae Holston and 17 from Nikitta Gartrell.The Cavaliers trailed 34-32 before going on a 19-7 run. Gerson hit a 3-pointer, Virginia's first in nine tries, and scored five points in the spurt, and Britny Edwards and Wright each had four. The spree gave the Cavaliers a 51-41 edge with 10 minutes left.The Wolfpack also lost forward Tia Bell to a left ankle injury with 10 minutes to go, but Holston and Gartrell had four points each in an 8-0 run that pulled them within 54-51.The first half must have left both coaches fuming.Virginia led 10-5 before going just 1-for-11 from the field with five turnovers over the next 9 minutes. The Wolfpack used the drought to put together a 15-2 run and lead 20-12.Immediately, the Cavaliers rallied, using a 14-3 burst to go ahead 26-23 with 2:52 left. North Carolina State then scored the last six points of the half to lead 29-26.The Wolfpack had 15 turnovers, and Virginia had seven with many missed easy shots.The Cavaliers also lost starting low post player Simone Egwu to an apparent left ankle injury after five minutes. She was helped off and to the locker room and did not return to the floor until a few minutes into the second half wearing a boot on her foot.Ryan said she did not know Egwu's injury or prognosis.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-52 (.423)||25-55 (.455)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-11 (.455)||3-13 (.231)|
|FT Made-Attempted||11-16 (.688)||20-24 (.833)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|