January 5, 2009
Tech sets record with 64-31 win over Presbyterian
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
Presbyterian (2-10) 82331
Virginia Tech (8-5) 313364
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,113
  • High Points: 15 - Shanel Harrison
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Utahya Drye, Shanel Harrison

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team cruised to an easy 64-31 victory over Presbyterian College on Monday night at Cassell Coliseum in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

This one was never in doubt, as Tech jumped out to a 24-2 lead and allowed the fewest points to an opponent in program history. The previous low was 33 points, given up to Winston-Salem State on Dec. 28, 2006. With the win, Tech improved to 8-5 on the season, while Presbyterian fell to 2-10.

“In particular, I thought our man-to-man defense looked good tonight,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “We were aggressive, and after the fiasco of not boxing out and rebounding against Liberty, we did a much better job by holding them to just one offensive board for the game.”

The Blue Hose scored just eight points in the first half (Tech led 31-8 at the break) and needed six points over the final 4:07 of the period to do so. In fact, they went scoreless over a 14:59 span after hitting their first bucket 54 seconds into the contest.

Things got a little better for Presbyterian after the intermission, as Tech only out-scored the Blue Hose by 10 in the second stanza. The Hokies dominated in nearly every category, though, topping the Blue Hose in points in the paint (44-16), points off of turnovers (21-7), second-chance points (16-0), fast-break points (8-0) and bench points (26-0).

The Hokies gathered 39 rebounds to Presbyterian’s 24, including a 14-1 margin on the offensive end, and tallied a season-high 14 steals to force 23 turnovers.

Tech’s Shanel Harrison had the most productive game of her young career by scoring a personal-best 15 points and swiping a season-high three steals. She also blocked three shots and grabbed seven rebounds. Laura Haskins dropped a season-high 12 points, while Nikki Davis tallied Tech career bests with five assists and four steals.

Amazingly, the 31 points scored by the Blue Hose was not the fewest they’ve scored this year – Wake Forest also limited them to 31 and East Carolina held them to 28. Lea Smith scored 11 points and Amanda Mills netted 10 to highlight the box score.

The Hokies will play host to Florida State on Thursday evening in the ACC opener for both schools. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

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

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