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Wright achieves scoring mark as Cavaliers topple Tigers

In a game that was never really in doubt beyond the first 10 minutes, the No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers throttled the Clemson Tigers Thursday night 82-60. As heavy snow tracked toward Charlottesville, a crowd of 2,920 gathered at John Paul Jones Arena to watch the team earn its fifth win, during which senior guard Monica Wright passed Ivory Latta for fifth on the ACC all-time scoring list.

"We were capable the whole time," Wright said. "In practice, we've been shooting very well and we've been going at game speed, so when it comes time for the game, it's just like clockwork."

Wright scored 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, despite only playing for 29 minutes. The Cavaliers shot 53 percent from the field on the night. Sophomore guard Whitny Edwards, sophomore forward Chelsea Shine and freshman guard Lexie Gerson added 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively. As a team, the Cavaliers took twice as many free throws as the Tigers, making 19-of-22. Their 82-point output was their highest since November.

"I was pleased with our execution offensively," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "Four people in double figures is really what we're striving for in every game, and it was good to see people step up."\nThe game started off fairly close, but the Cavaliers broke it open midway through the first half, going on a 10-0 run and building a halftime lead of 44-32. During the second half, Virginia traded blows with Clemson for about 10 minutes before going on another 11-point scoring run, which essentially sealed the deal for the Cavaliers. The Tigers forced 18 turnovers during the game but were never able to answer Virginia's aggressive, pressing defense.

"We didn't want there to be a Clemson answer," Ryan said. "We really focused on the defensive end."

After last Sunday's disappointing loss to Wake Forest, Virginia entered the contest with renewed focus and effort, aiming to achieve sole possession of third place in ACC standings.

"It was just important to me that we come out and play a whole lot better than we did at Wake," Ryan said. "[In that contest] I didn't feel like we had any energy or that we matched them competitively and I was very disappointed in that."

Virginia, however, will need every ounce of energy it can harness against Maryland Feb. 8. The Terrapins (16-6, 3-4 ACC) edged the Cavaliers Jan. 11 in a 61-60 heartbreaker at John Paul Jones Arena.

"This is more of a rivalry than Virginia Tech," Wright said. "We're definitely anticipating this game. We're excited about it and we're eager to get up there to College Park and come back with a win"


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