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Virginia looks to go above .500 in ACC

After toppling Florida State, 66-62, on Wednesday, the Virginia women's basketball team (11-8, 4-4 ACC) now sets its sights on Chapel Hill, where it will take on ACC foe North Carolina (14-5, 4-3) on Sunday.

"Carolina's a great team, and we are going to have to play very, very well to beat them," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "Especially at their place."

The game, originally scheduled to take place at the Dean E. Smith Center, will instead be played at Carmichael Auditorium in honor of UNC women's basketball alumni day. Virginia's matchup with the Tar Heels, who stand third in the ACC, could be seen as a "big game" for the Cavaliers, but Ryan was quick to point out the importance of each contest.

"Every game's a big game for us," she said. "We don't really distinguish between anybody because, to be honest, everybody can beat us."

The Cavaliers will rely on red-hot freshman Brandi Teamer, a four-time ACC rookie of the week, who netted her sixth consecutive double-double against the Seminoles on Wednesday night. She notched a career-high 26 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

From game to game, Teamer is getting more and more adjusted to the college game as she becomes the focus of the Cavalier offense.

"I've established my role and I'm a lot more comfortable with this team," she said. "It's smooth sailing, I think, from here on out."

Teamer and the rest of the Virginia freshmen's fast development has been a major part of Virginia's success.

"We ask big things out of all our first years," senior guard Telisha Quarles said. "I think they're stepping up to the plate."

Quarles was the only other Cavalier in double figures in Virginia's win over Florida State.

In Sunday night's contest against the Tar Heels, the Cavaliers will have to take another step up to come out of Chapel Hill with a win.

In No. 21 North Carolina, the Cavaliers face an opponent that averages 84.3 points per game, the second highest in the ACC behind Duke at 84.8 points. The Tar Heels are also exceptionally good at protecting a lead; this season, they have yet to lose a game in which they were leading at halftime.

Guard Nikki Teasly, the 2000 ACC Tournament most valuable player, is Carolina's high scorer, averaging 16.3 points. Teasly is second in ACC scoring rankings. Team steals and assists leader Leah Metcalf put up 17 points during Carolina's 65-64 loss to Wake Forest on Monday and added five rebounds to her totals as well.

"We know what we're up against," Ryan said. "We have a lot of great athletes, but we'll be ready. We'll be prepared"


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