November 18, 2008
Four Hokies net double figures in 78-54 win over Radford
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
12F
Radford (0-2) 173754
Virginia Tech (2-0) 344478
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,994
  • High Points: 17 - Shani Grey
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Lindsay Biggs

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Guards Shani Grey and Lindsay Biggs both tallied career highs in points to help the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team cruise to an easy 78-54 victory over New River Valley rival Radford on Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

Grey, who grabbed a personal-best nine rebounds in the season opener against UNC Greensboro, followed that up with a career-high 17 points against the Highlanders on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and a 7-of-9 performance from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Biggs turned in collegiate bests of 15 points and eight rebounds, while tying her previous high of six assists. It was those two who keyed several big runs for the Hokies, who improved to 2-0 on the young season and 20-9 all-time against Radford (0-2).

“We had some spurts where I really liked our intensity and our focus, and when you saw those spurts, I thought we went on some nice runs,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said.

Those runs weren’t so much outbursts by Tech as they were severe dry spells by Radford, which shot just 33.8 percent on the night thanks to the Hokies’ smothering defense. In fact, Tech forced Radford into separate first-half scoring droughts of 5:48 and 3:58, in addition to a 7:52 shortage that spanned halftime. Tech was up 34-17 at the break, led by as many as 33 midway through the second period, and held Radford to as many field goals as turnovers (23).

“I think we got after things on the defensive end,” Dunkenberger said. “Especially Shani Grey in particular. I talked to her about doing the things that make her special – being a defensive specialist and being a spark that gets her hands on balls and gets rebounds. When she does those things, the offense seems to come around.”

And come around it did. The Hokies hit 49.2 percent for the game thanks to an impressive 44 points in the paint and 25 points off of turnovers. And not coincidentally, the one leading the pack was Grey, who added six rebounds (four offensive) and two steals to go with her 17 points.

“It felt kind of weird to tell you the truth,” Grey laughed about her point total, which more than doubled her previous high of eight. “But like Coach said, all she really wants me to be is a defender, and I actually saw today how my defense could help me on offense. She always says that when your defense is there, your offense will come, so I’m actually kind of proud of myself to have scored 17 points.”

Another reason for Tech’s offensive success was the way it consistently worked the ball inside against a Radford team that had no player taller that 6-feet. The Hokies only attempted five 3-pointers on the night, a notable difference from the 15 that they fired up against UNC Greensboro with little success. Biggs, normally the first to let the long-ball fly, was an efficient 6-of-11 against Radford with just two 3-point attempts.

“Radford is a fast team that is all up in your face on defense (as evidenced by Tech’s 22 turnovers), so it’s kind of hard to get your shot off anyway,” Biggs said. “But our post players were a lot bigger than theirs, so we were taking advantage of that. Our post players are also really good at moving the ball in and out, so we decided to keep going in there and it worked.”

Utahya Drye and Lakeisha Logan chipped in with 14 and 10 points, respectively, to round out the Hokies in double figures. Radford had three players (Kymesha Alston, Charron Leeper and Johnette Walker) score 11 points apiece.

The Hokies return to action at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday with a 7 p.m. tilt against North Carolina Central.

For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).

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