November 29, 2008
No. 17 Vanderbilt hands Hokies first loss of season
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
Virginia Tech (5-1) 192443
(17) Vanderbilt (6-1) 383472
  • Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn.
  • High Points: 8 - Brittany Lewis, Utahya Drye, Lindsay Biggs
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Utahya Drye

NASHVILLE, Tenn.The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team suffered its first defeat of the season, 72-43, to 17th-ranked Vanderbilt in the championship contest of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament at Memorial Gymnasium.

The loss dropped the Hokies to 5-1 on the year, while Vanderbilt, a 2008 Sweet 16 participant, improved to 6-1.

The Hokies had trailed to their opponents for only 3:22 in their first five games combined, but that impressive statistic came to an end at the 14:48 mark of the first half when Vanderbilt took an 8-6 lead. Tech’s Utahya Drye would tie the game at 8 at the 14:24 mark, but the Commodores soon embarked on a 21-4 over roughly nine minutes that would put the Hokies out of reach.

Tech, which averaged 17 turnovers per game entering the contest, coughed the ball up 14 times in the first half alone, and the Commodores manufactured those turnovers into 23 points to build a 38-19 intermission lead.

“Vanderbilt played extremely well on the defensive end and took us out of our offense,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “They turned our mistakes into a lot of points and that was the deciding factor of the game.”

The Hokies kept the second half a little closer by cutting down on the turnovers (they committed seven in the second period), but Vanderbilt hit on 59.1 percent of their shots in the stanza to extend their lead to what eventually became the 29-point final margin. The Commodores shot 54.9 percent for the game, while the Hokie connected on a season-low 30.6 percent.

Drye tallied eight points and seven boards and was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists in the two games. Lindsay Biggs and Brittany Lewis also added eight points apiece, while Vanderbilt was paced by Christina Wirth’s 22 points.

Virginia Tech will next take the court on Thursday night at Wisconsin as part of the second annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. Eastern. The Hokies defeated Minnesota 68-62 at home last season in the inaugural edition of the Challenge.

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

HokieSports Shop