December 9, 2009
Hokies mount comeback to defeat Mount St. Mary's 44-42
Biggs scores all of her 15 points in the second half to lead the charge
12F
Mount St. Mary's (3-6) 271542
Virginia Tech (6-3) 123244
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,447
  • High Points: 15 - Lindsay Biggs
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Alyssa Fenyn

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It was a tale of two halves at Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday evening, as the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team overcame a 27-12 halftime deficit to defeat visiting Mount St. Mary’s 44-42 in the first game of a men’s/women’s doubleheader.

After tying a program low for points in a half in the first period, Tech rode Lindsay Biggs’ 15 second-half points to eke out the victory and improve to 6-3 on the season. The Mount dropped to 3-6.

“I knew going into this game that Mount St. Mary’s was a team that was going to be well prepared,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “They pride themselves on their great defense. They are a team that is capable of getting you out of your offense and making you look bad if you’re not patient and disciplined.”

The Hokies certainly looked bad in the first half, as they hit on just 22.2 percent (6-of-27) from the field, including 0-for-5 from behind the arc. Throughout the half, Tech endured two separate scoring droughts of over four minutes, and scored just four points over the half’s final 10:32. After entering the game ranked fourth in the nation in rebounding margin, the Hokies even trailed 21-12 on the boards, and it all led to a point total that hadn’t been matched by a Tech team since 1978.

“Honestly, my guess is that they [Tech’s players] looked at this team [Mount St. Mary’s], saw that they played Radford to a close game and knew that we beat Radford by a quite a bit,” Dunkenberger said. “Maybe they were thinking it should be an easy win. But you can’t take any team for granted in the game of basketball.

“We talked about buckling down on defense in the second half, and, on the offensive end, being more structured and taking better care of the ball.”

That’s what the Hokies did, and they completely turned the tables on The Mount, holding the visitors to a 25 percent (5-of-20) success rate from the field in the second half. Tech regained its rebounding advantage (26-10), hit nearly 45 percent of its own shots and jumped out to a 16-4 run to begin the period. Biggs accounted for 10 of those points, and went on to score all of her game-high 15 in the period to secure the win.

“I thought Lindsay Biggs single-handedly led the way for us,” Dunkenberger said. “Her shots weren’t falling in the first half, but she came back in the second and not only shot the ball well, but defended well and handled the ball well.”

“I knew I needed to be more aggressive in the second half,” Biggs said. “I was kind of flat in the first half. I think everyone was a little flat in the first half. I made a couple of shots, and thankfully, they were falling. As a senior, I knew I needed to step up. We did not want to lose to this team, so I felt like I needed to be a little bit more aggressive and it worked out for me.”

Biggs’ third trey with 7:34 remaining completed the comeback, tying the score at 35 all, and a layup by fellow senior Utahya Drye gave Tech its first lead at the seven-minute mark.

The teams traded points the rest of the way, and The Mount’s Hassanah Oliver had a chance to tie it in the final seconds. But her layup rolled off the rim and Tech freshman Alyssa Fenyn grabbed the rebound. Fenyn was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Drye came up with the offensive board to run out the clock.

Biggs finished the game 5-of-15 overall and 3-of-6 from downtown, but was 5-of-10 and 3-of-4 in the second half. Drye added eight points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks, while Fenyn tallied eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Shanel Harrison tied a career high with four blocked shots.

Sandra Andresson (12 points) and Mary Dunn (10) led the way for Mount St. Mary’s.

Tech will now have 10 days off before resuming play with a 3 p.m., contest against Alabama-Birmingham at the St. John’s Holiday Invitational in Jamaica, N.Y., on Dec. 19.

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

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