Virginia drops fifth straight
Ataira Franklin's 23 points can't save Cavaliers
Ataira Franklin poured in 23 points for the Virginia women’s basketball team Thursday night, but it was not enough to overcome North Carolina State, as the Cavaliers fell 80-59 to the Wolfpack in Raleigh for their fifth straight loss.
Virginia (15-13, 7-10 ACC) scored first to go up 2-0, but that would be the last time the team led in the first half as the Wolfpack (14-15, 6-11 ACC) pulled away early. Forward Kody Burke tallied 16 points and 14 rebounds and center Markeisha Gatling had 14 points and five rebounds for NC State, who went into halftime up 43-33. Virginia was 0-11 from three-point range in the first half, but they did shoot 44.1 percent from the field to stay close within striking distance at the half.
In the second half, NC State continued to pull away against a depleted Virginia squad, and the Cavaliers were never able get back into the lead. Senior forward Telia McCall logged 25 minutes for Virginia in her first action in two games, scoring 12 points and grabbing 4 rebounds and sophomore Sarah Imovbioh just missed out on a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. The Cavaliers pulled within four points at 47-43 with 14:48 to play, but that would be the closest the game would be. Behind four double-digit scoring performances, the Wolfpack closed out the game on a 33-16 run to take the 80-59.
Virginia now heads home for its final game of the season, a Sunday matchup against Florida State on Senior Day. The team says goodbye to three graduating seniors in McCall, center Simone Egwu, and point guard China Crosby.
—compiled by Michael Eilbacher