February 2, 2009
Drye carries Tech in 68-62 overtime defeat of USC Upstate
Junior tallies 30 points, 16 rebounds and seven steals
USC Upstate (10-11) 2529862
Virginia Tech (11-11) 22321468
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,173
  • High Points: 30 - Utahya Drye
  • High Rebounds: 16 - Utahya Drye

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It took until overtime to do so, but the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team emerged with a 68-62 victory over USC Upstate on Monday night at Cassell Coliseum thanks to a career night from junior Utahya Drye.

The Durham, N.C., native went 12-of-19 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line to record a personal best 30 points, and she also pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds, 11 of which were of the offensive variety. She contributed on the defensive end as well, swiping a collegiate-best seven steals. All three figures were single-game bests by any Hokie thus far on the season.

“I thought Utahya had an exceptional night on both ends of the court,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “She didn’t try to do too much – she let it come to her. She didn’t force shots and she didn’t take shots before she was ready. She had some open looks that she passed up because it was early in the shot clock and it wasn’t a shot that she wanted to take. Hopefully, everyone will take a page out of her book and we’ll get better from here.”

The game was the back end of a rare non-tournament back-to-back set of games for Tech, which lost to NC State on Sunday. In fact, it was the first time that Tech had played non-tournament back-to-back games since November of 1980.

The game also served as the final non-conference game of the season for the Hokies, who evened their overall record at 11-11 and finished their non-league portion of the schedule at 10-5. The Spartans fell to 10-11 with the loss.

“It wasn’t very pretty, but we had a little talk at halftime about some adjustments that we needed to make,” Dunkenberger said. “I thought we needed to pick up our intensity and play more as a team. Fortunately, we were able to make a run and hold on to win this one, though it certainly wasn’t our best effort.”

The Hokies trailed at the half by a score of 25-22, but had a chance to win it in regulation after forcing the Spartans into a shot-clock violation with three seconds remaining. Tech’s Lindsay Biggs hit a shot on the final play, but it came after the buzzer to send the Hokies to their second extra session of the season. Tech defeated James Madison 72-70 in overtime on Dec. 14.

It was then that the Hokies finally put the game away. After Upstate’s Lesley Daniel hit a layup to start the bonus period, Biggs drained a 3-pointer to give Tech the lead for good. Drye scored five of her points in overtime and Shanel Harrison added four to ice the victory in an unexpectedly close game.

Biggs joined Drye in double figures for Tech with 10 points, though she shot just 4-of-17 from the field. The Hokies hit on 37.3 percent (28-of-75) for the game, while the Spartans converted on just 33.3 percent (26-of-78). The 99 combined misses allowed Tech to grab a season-high 56 rebounds.

The Hokie will now travel to Chapel Hill for a Thursday night showdown with North Carolina.

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

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