Thursday, February 12, 2009
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Comcast Center.
Records: No. 17 Cavaliers 19-5, 5-3 ACC; No. 11 Maryland 19-4, 7-2.
Back on Track: The Terrapins have won three straight since losing in Charlottesville, 89-81, on Jan. 30 -- the Cavaliers' first win over Maryland since February 2005. Virginia overcame a 13-point second-half deficit, behind the efforts of forward Lyndra Littles, center Aisha Mohammed and guard Monica Wright, who combined to score 52 of the Cavaliers' final 56 points.
Big Challenge: Junior forward Dee Liles and freshman center Lynetta Kizer played well against Boston College's big front court on Monday, and they have another challenge in the 6-foot-3 Mohammed, whom Maryland Coach Brenda Frese referred to as "a freight train" after the first game. Mohammed, the ACC's leading rebounder (9.6), grabbed 16 rebounds against the Terrapins, and often triggered Virginia's fast break.
Dynamic Duo: Virginia leans heavily on Littles (Carroll) and Wright (Forest Park), the highest-scoring duo in the ACC -- they average a combined 43.4 points and have accounted for 48 percent of the team's made field goals. Both are physically strong and are able to play both inside and outside.
Position Battle: Maryland is one game behind ACC leader Florida State (8-1) and is tied with Duke (7-2) and North Carolina (6-2) in the loss column. Virginia is alone in fifth place. The top four teams get a first-round bye in the ACC tournament, which begins March 5 in Greensboro, N.C.
-- Camille Powell