The Virginia women's basketball team downed Wake Forest 73-46 last night, arguably posting its most complete offensive and defensive performances of the season.
The Cavaliers (13-11, 2-6 ACC) shot 51 percent from the field and scored 33 points off of 27 forced turnovers. Virginia's nose for the ball spawned three double-figure scorers, with freshman guard Ataira Franklin and sophomore forward Telia McCall scoring 12 points each. Sophomore guard China Crosby contributed 11 more.
"We wanted to relax tonight; I've noticed that we play better with less pressure," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "We were prepared for the game...and anything positive happening is a good thing. We've been in every game, and I've been waiting to show what we've done in practice."
The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead during the first half, and Crosby stretched the margin to 22-15 on a three-point basket with 4:52 remaining in the half. Virginia went into halftime leading 29-20, and then went on a 12-4 run to extend its lead to 41-24 with 14:28 remaining in the game. Wake Forest (11-13, 2-6 ACC) offered little resistance from there, allowing Ryan to give her reserve players substantial minutes.
"It was great," Crosby said. "It's good to know that everyone on the team is contributing, doing a good job getting a lot of stops, and doing whatever we needed to do to get this win."
Virginia needed the entire roster's help after sophomore guard Lexie Gerson returned home to Pennsylvania because of a family medical emergency.
"The team was really playing this game for Lexie...and to do everything to support her," Ryan said. "That was our team's mission tonight."
Thursday's game also marked Crosby's return to the starting lineup. Crosby shook off a few early turnovers to score 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field.
"I just tried to come out and be the floor general, the facilitator," Crosby said. "[Associate head] coach [Tim] Taylor said to take what's there, to not be intimated and just have a streamlined mindset."
The win against the Demon Deacons snapped a two-game losing streak and marked Virginia's second straight home win with at least a 27-point margin.
The Cavaliers hope to continue this winning trend at home when they host No. 16 Florida State Monday. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.