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Cavs win in last game of preseason

Virginia women's basketball found its legs last night in the second and final exhibition game of its preseason. The Cavaliers topped the Houston Jaguars, 72-67, behind 17 points from freshman LaTonya Blue, 10 points from freshman Jocelyn Logan-Friend and 36 solid minutes from senior Telisha Quarles at point guard.

The Cavaliers got off to a slow start and had some trouble shutting down Houston's outside shooter Abby Garchek in the first few minutes of the game. The Jaguars, with the help of former Virginia star Tora Suber, also managed to force a string of turnovers that enabled them to jump out to a 12-point lead in just under five minutes.

With seven minutes left in the half, however, Virginia went on a 25-13 tear to tie the game and Quarles nailed a jumper at the buzzer that put the Cavaliers up, 40-39, a lead they did not relinquish for the rest of the night.

They allowed the Jaguars to crawl back to within three with 20 seconds left in the game, but Houston was forced to foul sophomore Anna Crosswhite, who hit both her free throws to seal Virginia's win.

"I wasn't pleased with the way we started off tonight," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "I thought defensively we were a little bit sluggish and slow and played really soft. I didn't like that, but once we got into the flow of the game, I thought we were all right. I thought we came out in the second half and did a much better job defensively. We held them to 28 points and just did a much better job all the way around."

Sophomore Anna Prillaman was the Cavaliers' leading scorer in the second half, posting nine of her 12 points in the last half of the game. Prillaman was a force on the fast break, outside the arc and in the paint where she drew a charge with a little over 12 minutes left to play.

With such a young squad - Quarles is the only senior - Ryan is asking Prillaman to take on a more aggressive shooting role.

"I've always just let the game come to me," Prillaman said. "I would take six or eight shots a game, but now I'm being told that's not what I need to do, so I have to change my mindset."

Along with aggressive shooters, Ryan also is looking for stability at the point. Last night she got solid work from both Quarles, who had 11 points and four turnovers, and junior Liz Sahin, who had four points in 10 minutes at the number one spot.

Sahin will be out for the first four regular season games, however, thanks to NCAA regulations concerning a professional club team she played with in her native Turkey. Though Sahin received no money for her participation, under NCAA regulations she still must be benched one collegiate game for every five she played in the professional league.

Quarles has the most collegiate experience of any player on the team and has proven thus far that she enjoys the responsibility of running the floor.

"I'm the only senior, I'm supposed to step up," Quarles said. "This is what I wanted. I feel like I have enough confidence and my teammates have enough confidence in me that I can lead this team."

With an exhibition win behind them, Quarles will lead the team into its regular season schedule starting Friday, Nov. 16, on the road against Hampton.


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