(State at UVA; Sunday, February 12th, 12 p.m.; RSN, Bally Sports)
Virginia won their first 12 games and just before their game at Duke, a 70-56 loss, the Cavaliers were ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The loss at Duke started a downward trend for UVA, one in which they lost 11 of their next 13 games.
It did not help that Mir McLean, a UConn transfer, was lost to the season in the team's loss at N. C. State, Mir being at the time the teams second leading scorer at 12.2 ppg.
It further did not help that the team's second leading scorer after the Mir injury, Sam Brunelle, was suspended for the team's game at Notre Dame on January 22nd after receiving a flagrant 2 foul for fighting in the preceding game at FSU. Further Brunelle has not played since logging 18 minutes against VaTech on January the 29th leaving UVA in their games against UNC, Pitt and Louisville with only 8 players on the bench.
Add to all of this the fact that senior Carole Miller, who started for the Cavaliers the last time State played UVA, has stepped away from the team.
Looking at the box score from UVA's game against Louisville, a 63-53 loss, one sees that the starting line-up for UVA consisted of six-two senior Camryn Taylor, five-seven senior Taylor Valladay, six-two senior London Clarkson, six-foot grad student Mckenna Dale and five-eight freshman Yonta Vaughn. Six-foot junior Kaydan Lawson and five-eight junior Alexia Smith played 30 and 23 minutes off the bench in that game.
In the game at State on January 8th, an 87-62 loss, Camryn Taylor scored 16 points shooting 6-12 from the floor, while Taylor Valladay, off the bench, scored 13 points shooting 6-15 from the floor. London Clarkson scored 2 points in 17 minutes off the bench, Yonta Vaughn scored 2 points in 15 minutes off the bench and Mckenna Dale played 3 minutes without scoring. Alexia Smith started for UVA in that game against State playing 26 minutes and scoring 4 points. Kaydan Lawson played 24 minutes off the bench in the State game scoring 2 points.
From warrennolan, UVA has a 14-11 overall record, has a 3-11 conference record, has a Live RPI of 71, has a NET of 51, has an ELO of 127, has a SOS of 54, has a quad 1 NET record of 0-9 and has a quad 1 RPI record of 0-10. UVA has no significant wins to speak about-note the quad 1 records.
Again from warrennolan, State has a 17-7 overall record, has a 7-6 conference record, has a NET of 15, has an ELO of 22, has a SOS of 5, has a quad 1 NET record of 6-6, and has a quad 1 RPI record of 7-5. State has two significant wins which are at NET 9 Iowa and over NET 7 Notre Dame in Raleigh.
RP predicts State to win at Virginia 72-61 with an 82% win-probability. Her Hoop Stats with the game at Virginia picks State to win 71.5 to 60.6 with a win-probability of 82.3%. Her Hoop Stats ratings for Virginia are 13.5 value, 74/361 rank and for State 33 value, 10/361 rank. The offensive ratings and defensive ratings for UVA are 98 value, 96/361 rank, 84.4 value, 54/361 rank respectively. For State they are 110.3 value, 17/361 rank, 77.3 value and 9/361 rank respectively.
If State is to finish at least 10-8 in the conference, this game is another must win game. The stats from Her Hoop Stats might be misleading for UVA due to the status of the team's roster at this point. Because Louisville struggled to beat UVA at Charlottesville, there is no reason to think that State will not likewise struggle as both State and Louisville are playing without confidence at this point. The predicted score of this game even with a State win seems too high. One thinks it will be more like the game at Wake-maybe ugly and low scoring with a Pack victory. So, unless Brunelle who injured her foot at VaTech returns for the State game, it will be UVA's 8 player bench against State's 9 player bench.