February 26, 2009
Regular season ends for Hokies with OT loss to Georgia Tech
Drye nets 24 points; Harrison scores career-high 17
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Georgia Tech (20-8, 7-6) 31311173
Virginia Tech (12-17, 2-12) 2240668
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,317
  • High Points: 24 - Utahya Drye
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Brittany Gordon

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team came back from an 11-point deficit with just over five minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime, but ran out of gas in the extra session and fell to Georgia Tech 73-68 on Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.

It was the regular season finale for the Hokies, who dropped to 12-17 overall and 2-12 in the ACC with the loss. It was the first defeat in three overtime games this year for the Hokies. Georgia Tech improved to 20-8 overall and 7-6 in league play.

“I am proud of this team for continuing to fight,” Hokie head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “What we need to do is play defense like we played it the last eight minutes of the game all of the time so we don’t get down by 11. But I thought it was a great effort to come back and tie it up. Although we are very disappointed that it slipped away from us in overtime, this gives us confidence to know that we can play with anybody in the [next week’s ACC] tournament.”

Virginia Tech trailed 58-47 after Georgia Tech’s Alex Montgomery drilled her third trey of the game at the 5:19 mark of the second stanza, but finished the half on a 15-4 run to knot the game at 62 and force the bonus period.

Freshman Shanel Harrison calmly sank a pair of free throws with 24 ticks on the clock after Georgia Tech’s Iasia Hemingway, who scored 15 points in the game, fouled out.

The Yellow Jackets called time out with 20 seconds to play and Brigitte Ardossi missed on back-to-back attempts once play resumed, allowing the Hokies’ Brittany Gordon to grab one of her 11 rebounds on the night. Gordon has now collected at least nine rebounds in each of the last five games.

Virginia Tech’s Lindsay Biggs missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer and the two teams headed for overtime.

“I felt good about [going into overtime],” Dunkenberger said. “I thought we had good momentum and I thought we had found a niche on defense. I just think we had a couple of unfortunate turnovers and a couple of shots that seemed to roll around and not go in. If those shots go in and we take a little bit better care of the ball, then we feel a lot happier right now.”

The Hokies committed three turnovers and hit just 3-of-10 in the deciding five minutes, while Georgia Tech went 3-for-4 and sank five free throws to clinch the victory.

“I think it was a good learning experience for us,” Dunkenberger said of the game. “There are certainly some things we need to improve upon, and sometimes you practice a little bit harder with more of a sense of urgency when you’re coming off of a loss. We definitely have to do some things better if we want to go down to Greensboro and make a run, so we’ll use this as a learning tool.”

Utahya Drye hit 10 of her 15 shot attempts to lead all scorers with 24 points, while Harrison tallied a career-high 17 for the Hokies. Georgia Tech was paced by Jacqua Williams’ 19 points, while Deja Foster added 14 and Montgomery chipped in 13.

The Hokies will now await the ACC’s unveiling of the conference tournament bracket on Sunday evening. They will play on Thursday, March 5 at Greensboro Coliseum, but the time of the game and the opponent are yet to be determined.

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

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