DURHAM, N.C.-- Virginia Tech played No. 7 Duke even for the first 10 minutes of the first half but the Blue Devils exploded on a 16-0 run and went on to defeat the Hokies, 62-46, Thursday night. The contest was played before 6,166 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke improved to 22-3 overall and 9-2 in the ACC with its third straight victory. Tech, which suffered its fifth consecutive defeat, fell to 11-16 and 1-11.
Brittany Gordon (So., Howard County, Md.) was the only Tech player in double figures for the second straight game equaling her career-high of 12 points while leading the team with nine rebounds. Lindsay Biggs (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) added nine points followed by Laura Haskins (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) with eight points and five assists.
Abby Waner led Duke with 15 points, including three treys, followed by Carrem Gay and Chante Black with 12 and 11 points respectively. Black pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds helping the Blue Devils to a 48-33 advantage on the boards.
Duke forced Tech into 21 turnovers which the Blue Devils converted into 24 points while limiting the Hokies to 33.9 percent (19-56) from the floor.
Conversely, the Tech defense limited Duke to 36.4 percent (24-66) shooting and forced 20 turnovers but the Hokies converted the Blue Devil miscues into only eight points.
The two teams played evenly through the first nine minutes with the contest featuring seven ties and five lead changes. Tech took a 15-13 lead on a Biggs jumper at the 10:25 mark which proved to be the Hokies only made field goal for the next eight-plus minutes.
A Waner trey started a 16-0 Duke run over the next 5:08 to build a 29-15 advantage. During the spurt, Tech was 0-5 from the field and committed seven turnovers.
“I thought we had a stretch about halfway through the first half where we didn’t handle their press well, and we turned it over three or four times in a row which they converted into points,” said Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger. “Take away that and their offensive rebounding, and I’m not terribly disappointed with our output. But it’s a very good Duke team that is solid and their ability to rebound the basketball, especially on the offensive end, is just unbelievable.”
The Hokies trailed 33-18 at the half and played the Blue Devils even for the second stanza but the damage had been already been done.
“We’ve played a lot of good teams and have been very, very close, and unfortunately our record doesn’t show how we’ve played in game,” added Dunkenberger. “But I think that as a staff we have to keep reminding them of what our goals are and what we’re working towards, and reinforce the positive things even when we have losing situations. We know that we’re this close in a lot of games, and not many teams have been successful coming into Cameron and winning, but we took it down to a last second shot at home with them and that was without several of our top scorers from last year. But we try not to dwell on what we don’t have and focus on what we do have, and look for the positive in every situation.”
The Hokies saw the return of Elizabeth Basham (So., Abingdon, Va.) who had missed the previous two games with an injured right shoulder but did not have the services of Shani Grey (r-So., Windsor, Conn.) due to a wrist injury suffered in the Wake Forest game.
Tech returns to action on Sun, Feb. 22 , hosting Wake Forest at 2 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum. The Demon Deacons defeated the Hokies last Sunday, 66-44, in Winston-Salem, N.C.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).