The Cavaliers’ star, Monica Wright, had her career high, 35 points. That, combined with the Vols being a bunch of youngsters, gave U.Va. just its second victory in the 13-game series, which dates back to 1981. The only other time U.Va. beat Tennessee was in the 1990 Elite Eight.
Admittedly, most of the Tennessee kids now are McDonald’s All-Americans, but still it takes a while for even the best player out of high school to step into the college game.
Pointing out their youth is not meant to take away from Virginia’s victory. Whether you beat “Tennessee” or “TENNESSEE,” it’s a big surge for your program. Even more so it if comes in Knoxville.
And I know there are loyal Cavalier fans who’ve been there with the team going back to the 1970s, and for them this victory is the biggest joy the program’s had in a long time. Sure, it’s only November, and this game will fade in a lot of women’s basketball followers’ minds as the season goes on.
But to U.Va. backers who remember the deep disappointment of previous losses to Tennessee, this memory will stay fresh for quite a while.