CHARLOTTESVILLE, DEC. 8 -- Using a balanced offense in which eight players scored field goals, the No. 1-ranked Virginia women's basketball team defeated Florida State, 92-77, in the final of the Cavalier Classic today at University Hall.
The Cavaliers were led by tournament MVP Dawn Staley who had 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Tammi Reiss and Heidi Burge chipped in 17 apiece for Virginia.
"We are looking forward to playing in the ACC and coming back to Virginia again," Florida State Coach Marynell Meadors said. Florida State begins ACC competition in 1991-92.
The Cavaliers were plagued by foul trouble and Florida State's quickness and pressure gave them problems. "With the foul trouble, we didn't get that chemistry, and we lulled," Virginia Coach Debbie Ryan said. "Last year the players didn't recognize that lull. This year we recognized it sooner." In the first half, the Cavaliers used runs of 12-0 and 15-6 to take a 50-35 halftime lead.
Florida State opened the second half with full-court pressure against the backcourt of Staley, Reiss and Dena Evans. The strategy gave the Cavaliers trouble as they shot 38 percent in the second half, to 57 percent in the first.
The Seminoles mounted a late rally with the help of the Cavaliers' poor second-half shooting, but Virginia hit five of seven free throws in the last four minutes to pull away.