Cavalier Corner

December 2021

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DECEMBER 2021 15 team in scoring at 9.3 points per game. This year, she's off to the hottest start on the squad, ranking in the top 15 in the ACC in scoring, averaging over 14 points per game in her first month of play. Clarkson, a third-year forward, was with the team last season and was supposed to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules. Once the NCAA issued blanket waivers granting im- mediate eligibility to all transfers, she was cleared to play for the Cavaliers. However, the week that she was due to suit up was when the first of the COVID can- cellations hit the team. She made her delayed debut in this season's opener at JMU, and her patience was re- warded with a spot in the starting lineup. Clarkson was a consensus top-100 re- cruit in high school, averaging 17.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game her final sea- son playing in Pflugerville High in the out- skirts of Austin, Texas, before playing under eight minutes a game as a freshman at FSU. Rounding out the post group is Jefferson. As a first-year in 2018-19, she averaged 1.1 points in 5.5 minutes per game. Her second-year season, she was thrust into the starting lineup and exploded for a team- best 12.7 points per game, shooting 77.3 percent from the field, before being side- lined with an injury. Jefferson will be a key contributor off the bench this season, giving quality minutes to the post rotation. It's not just the post group that got a makeover. Taylor Valladay, a third-year transfer from Marquette, is the new point guard for the team, allowing Toi to move back to her more natural position as a shooting guard. Valladay is a pesky defender who already has tallied a five-steal game while also dictating the offensive flow, dishing out six assists in her debut against James Madison. Thompson has also added a three-point shooting specialist in McKenna Dale, a grad transfer from Brown. In 2019-20, she ranked third in the Ivy League, averaging 17.0 points per game, hitting 58 three-pointers. She has dual citizenship in the United States and New Zealand, playing on the U18 Junior National Team for the latter. In addition to all of the newcomers are second-years from the lost season looking to play their first entire campaign of colle- giate basketball. Guard Kaydan Lawson, the younger sister of former Cavalier Dani Lawson, was a spark off the bench in last season's five games and has been serving that same role this year, grabbing a team-high nine rebounds in the USC game and scoring 10 points against Richmond. Forward Deja Bristol and guard Aaliyah Pitts, who both appeared in all five games last season, are expected to con- tribute coming off the bench again this winter. "The influx of student-athletes gives us a full plate to be able to work from," Thompson said. "In the past, especially for Amandine, she's played out of position for so many years now. "She's had to take on dual roles and multiple responsibilities because of lack of depth of players in certain positions. But now that we have a full roster, people get an opportunity to play in their true positions." The full roster also gives fans a lot of new Hoos to cheer for. And the players are grate- ful for the support. "We've been working hard to get a win at home," Toi said after the team's 60-44 vic- tory against William & Mary Dec. 2. "I know the fans are supporting us and coming to our games, so I think it's a reward for them to see a home win. I feel like we work for them because they're supporting us." 2021-22 UVA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 9 at James Madison L, 84-69 Nov. 14 Southern California L, 65-48 Nov. 17 UCF L, 59-38 Nov. 21 at UCLA L, 69-57 Nov. 23 at Cal State Fullerton W, 60-48 Nov. 26 Rhode Island L, 80-70 Nov. 28 Richmond L, 74-65 Dec. 2 William & Mary W, 60-44 Dec. 5 at George Washington W, 62-53 Dec. 7 American L, 69-56 Dec. 19 at NC State* (ACCN) 4 p.m. Dec. 22 at Texas Southern 1 p.m. Dec. 30 Notre Dame* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Jan. 2 Miami* (ACCN) 2 p.m. Jan. 6 at Virginia Tech* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Georgia Tech* (ACCN) 4 p.m. Jan. 13 NC State* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Jan. 16 Syracuse* (ACCNX) 1 p.m. Jan. 20 at North Carolina* (ACCNX) 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at Duke* (ACCN) 6 p.m. Jan. 27 Virginia Tech* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at Florida State* (RSN) 12 p.m. Feb. 3 at Boston College* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Feb. 6 Clemson* (ACCN) 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at Louisville* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at Wake Forest* (ACCN) 4 p.m. Feb. 17 Duke* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. Feb. 20 Pitt* (ACCN) 4 p.m. Feb. 24 North Carolina* (ACCNX) 7 p.m. March 2-6 ACC Tournament$ TBA * ACC game; $ Greensboro Coliseum at Greens- boro, N.C.; ACCN — ACC Network; ACCNX — ACC Network Extra Streaming; RSN — ACC Regional Sports Networks Third-year forward Meg Jefferson, who was averaging 1.6 points and 1.0 rebound per game through Dec. 7, is one of the few holdovers on a team that added five veteran transfers from four schools. (Photo courtesy UVA) " The influx of student-athletes gives us a full plate to be able to work from. " UVA HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON

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