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Monica Wright wins ACC player of the year

Monica Wright becomes the first U-Va. player to win the award since 1996. Here's the official release:

Virginia senior guard Monica Wright (Woodbridge, Va.) was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, the league announced Thursday (March 4). Wright is the first Cavalier to earn the honor since Wendy Palmer in 1996 and the fifth-ever.

Wright was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the second woman to earn both of the league’s player of the year awards in the same season. Duke’s Lindsay Harding accomplished it in 2007.

This season, Wright ranked in the top-10 in the league in four statistical categories and became Virginia's all-time leading scorer. She was the only player in the conference to average better than 20 points per game, scoring at a 23.0 points per game pace, and also averaged 3.6 steals per game to lead the league. Additionally, Wright shot 80.7 percent (151-of-187) from the free throw line and averaged 31.9 minutes per contest to rank second and fifth, respectively.

Wright continued to climb the ACC career scoring chart throughout the season and broke Virginia legend Dawn Staley's career record with 20 points in a Jan. 11 contest against Maryland, and currently has 2,474 career points. She sits just 214 points shy of former Duke national player of the year Alana Beard, who ranks second in ACC history.

The Cavaliers begin competition at the 2010 ACC Tournament on Friday, March 5 in the quarterfinals. Their opponent will be the winner between NC State and Clemson.

By Zach Berman  |  March 4, 2010; 2:01 PM ET
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