SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas -- For the second consecutive game, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team dug itself a big early deficit, made a furious late comeback, but came up short in a 63-56 loss to Southern Methodist in the consolation game of the South Padre Island Shootout. The loss drops the Hokies to 6-4 on the year while SMU improved to 5-5.
After trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half, a Brittany Lewis (Fr., Orange, Fla.) trey with 1:54 remaining got the Hokies within three at 54-51. However, SMU got a layup from Christine Elliott and the three-pointer by Jillian Samuels to increase the advantage back to eight with a minute to play.
Tech put on one last run as Lindsay Biggs (Sr., Midlothian, Va.) hit a jumper followed by her fourth trey of the game to make it a one possession contest at 59-56 with 30 seconds to play. Any chance of victory ended when SMU’s Jillian Samuels hit two free throws and Brittany Gilliam had a steal and layup to seal the game.
Biggs led the Hokies with 15 points followed by Utahya Drye’s (Jr., Durham, N.C.) 14 points. Two Tech newcomers completed the double-figure scoring as Lewis and Nikki Davis (tr.-So., Lexington, Ky.) added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Gilliam led the Mustangs with 15 points and ten rebounds while Elliott had 13 points and Samuels added 10.
Tech got off to a very slow start falling behind 14-4 in first nine minutes. Poor shooting and turnovers hurt the offense in the opening moments as the Hokies missed their first 11 shots and committed five turnovers. SMU eventually built the lead to 17 points, 31-14, with just under three minutes left in the first half before Tech cut the lead to 34-23 at the break.
The Hokies shot only 36.5 percent (19-52) from the field but were 8-of-15 from behind the arc. Biggs nailed four treys while Tech got two each by Lewis and Davis. The Hokies committed 25 turnovers which led to 26 SMU points.
Following the Christmas break, the Tech returns to action Dec. 29-30, when they go for their 11th consecutive Hokie Hardwood Classic title. The Hokies will face Lafayette in the first round at 7 p.m. with Liberty taking on North Carolina A&T in the 5 p.m. contest.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).