January 21, 2009
Valiant effort by Tech not enough in 75-69 loss to UVa
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
12F
(16) Virginia (15-3, 2-1) 383775
Virginia Tech (8-10, 0-5) 294069
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,511
  • High Points: 17 - Lindsay Biggs
  • High Rebounds: 5 - Utahya Drye, Brittany Gordon

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team hung tight for the third straight time against a top-15 team, but for the third straight time, it fell just short and suffered a 75-69 defeat to No. 16/14 Virginia on Wednesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

The loss kept the Hokies winless in the ACC at 0-5, while dropping their overall mark to 8-10. Virginia improved to 15-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play, and has now beaten Tech four straight times and in 31 of 39 tries in the all-time series.

“It was our third game in six days against another top-15 team,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger sighed. “And for the third time in six days, I thought we toed up and we battled. It hurts to see us play so hard and so well only to come out a little bit short, but it was a great contest.”

After trailing by nine at the half, Tech actually led the Cavaliers by seven, 63-56, when Lindsay Biggs drilled a 3-pointer with 6:42 to play. On the other end of the court, however, Virginia’s Lyndra Littles hit a trey of her own to spark a 9-1 Cavalier run that put the visitors back on top, 65-64, with just under four minutes remaining.

Biggs, who tallied a team-high 17 points in the game, sank her fifth long bomb of the contest at the 3:23 mark to put Tech up by two, and the teams traded points on the next three trips – a Monica Wright layup, a Nikki Davis layup and two Littles free throws – to leave the game tied at 69 with 2:25 on the clock.

From that point on, Wright had another layup and Littles drained four more charity tosses to set the final score. In fact, Wright (23 points) and Littles (28 points) combined for 51 of Virginia’s 75 points, and scored all but two of the Cavaliers’ last 19.

“That’s what good players do – they stepped up,” Biggs, who saw a 3-point attempt rattle in and out with 17 seconds left, said of her high-scoring counterparts. “We fought hard, but in the end, it didn’t work out.”

While Virginia relied on its two stars for most of its offense, the Hokies got a balanced attack, nearly putting five players in double figures for the first time this season. In addition to Biggs’ 17, Davis, who got to the rack time and time again, added 15. Brittany Gordon added 11, including a 7-of-8 performance from the free-throw line, and Utahya Drye netted 10. Shanel Harrison was on the cusp of double figures with nine points.

“I think that’s part of what’s making us good right now,” Dunkenberger said of Tech’s balanced box score. “We’re not just relying on one or two players. We’ve got different threats and different people stepping up.”

Tech will play host to non-conference Longwood this Sunday at 2 p.m. before heading to Clemson on Jan. 28 to resume ACC play.

“I’m extremely proud of our team, but we’ve got to use this as a turning point and get back on the winning track,” Dunkenberger said. “We’ve had enough little moral victories here – it’s time to get a real victory.”

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

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