January 25, 2009
Tech gets back on winning track against Longwood
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
Longwood (5-13) 302757
Virginia Tech (9-10, 0-5 ACC) 393473
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,159
  • High Points: 15 - Shanel Harrison
  • High Rebounds: 12 - Utahya Drye

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum by defeating Longwood 73-57 in the penultimate non-conference contest of the season.

“It wasn’t the prettiest win, but we’re glad to get a victory under our belts,” said Tech point guard Laura Haskins. “Hopefully, it will start a string of wins for us.”

The Hokies, who improved to 9-10 on the season, jumped out to a 16-3 advantage and led by as many as 16 in the first half. But Longwood, which fell to 5-13 with the loss, managed a 14-7 run to end the period to keep the game competitive at 39-30 in Tech’s favor.

Things got even more competitive at the start of the second half, though, as the Lancers opened the stanza on an 11-5 spurt to cut the lead to three at 44-41 by the 14:29 mark.

But that’s when the Hokies, who shot 52 percent from the field in the second half, began to pull it back together. Shanel Harrison and Lindsay Biggs combined to score 11 of the next 13 points for Tech as the Hokies got the lead back up to nine, 57-48, with just over 10:30 to play.

Longwood’s Krystal Garrison was a thorn in the Hokies’ side all day and hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to make it 57-51, but Tech cruised from there on out to improve their non-conference record to 9-5.

Harrison led the Hokies by tying her career high of 15 points, while Biggs tallied 13. Utahya Drye equaled her personal best of 12 rebounds to go with 14 points, and Haskins set a new career high with 11 assists.

“I’ve been wanting to get double-digit assists ever since I came to Tech,” said a beaming Haskins. “It’s always been a goal of mine, and that’s a credit to my teammates – they were knocking down shots for me.”

Thing weren’t all smiles for the Hokies, though, as they committed 21 turnovers – the first time they’ve gone over 20 since the Southern Methodist contest nine games ago. They also allowed eight 3-pointers to a team that’s only averaged half that many. In fact, Garrison hit five of those to help her tally a game-high 17 points – 11 more points that her per-game average.

Tech countered those mistakes by out-rebounding the Lancers 44-25 and scoring 44 points in the paint to help them get a much-needed victory.

“Any win is a relief, but we still know we have to work on the little things because we’re in the ACC,” Drye said. “We’ve got to get a lot tougher, and a lot of the mistakes we made today, we can’t make in ACC play.”

The Hokies will aim for their first ACC win of the year – they are 0-5 thus far – on Wednesday when they visit Clemson for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

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

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