December 29, 2008
First-half run helps Tech over Lafayette
Hokies win 66-44 in Hardwood Classic
Lafayette (5-8) 143044
Virginia Tech (7-4) 303666
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,739
  • High Points: 17 - Utahya Drye
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Brittany Gordon

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech used a balanced attack and an 18-0 run late in the first half to claim a 66-44 victory over Lafayette on Monday night at Cassell Coliseum in the opening round of the 19th annual Hokie Hardwood Classic.

Utahya Drye paced the Hokies by scoring 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, and she also grabbed six rebounds to go with two assists, two blocks and one steal. Lindsay Biggs went scoreless in the first half, but poured in 10 points in the second period to join Drye in double figures.

Brittany Gordon just missed out on her first career double-double after recording personal bests of nine points and eleven rebounds, and two other Hokies had impressive performances in their first starts at Virginia Tech. Freshman Shanel Harrison also approached a double-double with nine points and eight boards, while redshirt sophomore transfer Nikki Davis added eight points.

The Hokies opened the first half by hitting just three of their first 20 field-goal attempts, but stayed in the game by converting 12 free throws and committing only three turnovers. Tech trailed 12-11 after a Lafayette layup at the 9:20 mark, but a pair of Brittany Gordon free throws at 7:16 proved to be the final lead change of the game.

It was then that the Leopards went cold from the field, suffering through a 7:55 scoring drought as the Hokies put together an 18-0 run to build a 30-14 lead at intermission.

That lead proved to be insurmountable for the Leopards, as Tech shot nearly 50 percent (15-of-31) in the second half and led by as many as 25 points.

The win was the Hokies’ 33rd straight at home in the month of December, and their 39th of the past 40. It was also their 21st consecutive victory among games played in the Hokies’ annual holiday tournament, as Tech last lost to Siena back in 1997.

The Hokies will look to capture their 11th straight holiday tournament title when they take on Liberty, which defeated North Carolina A&T in the opening game on Monday. Tip-off for that game is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, while the consolation game between Lafayette and A&T will begin at 5 p.m.

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

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