January 18, 2010
Wright too much for Tech as UVa wins 70-56
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
(25) Virginia (12-5, 1-2 ACC) 254570
Virginia Tech (11-6, 1-2 ACC) 233356
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,648
  • High Points: 18 - Utahya Drye
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Utahya Drye

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia senior Monica Wright’s 27 points proved too much to overcome on Monday evening at Cassell Coliseum, as the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team lost to the 25th-ranked Cavaliers 70-56 and fell short in its bid to defeat ranked teams in back-to-back games for the first time in program history.

The Hokies dropped to 11-6 overall and 1-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the Cavaliers improved to 12-5 overall and 1-2 in ACC play.

“Obviously, we played one of the best games that we’ve played in a long time in the game before this [the upset over 10th-ranked UNC on Thursday],” said Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger. “But tonight, I thought we were flat on several fronts. It’s frustrating to see us play so well so shortly ago and then to come out flat tonight, but I don’t think it was from a lack of effort.

“I’ll give credit to Virginia and some of the things that they did. They changed some things defensively and we never really adjusted. I don’t think we ever really got in sync.”

Though the Virginia defense only forced 10 turnovers (a season-low for Tech), it did hold the Hokies to 36.5 percent shooting, including a mark of 27.8 percent in the first half.

Despite that, Tech trailed by just two (25-23) at the half, and briefly took a 27-25 lead two minutes into the second stanza. An 8-2 spurt by the Cavaliers gave them a 33-29 advantage, but Tech freshman Porschia Hadley’s jumper cut it back to a pair at 33-31.

That’s when Wright and Virginia took over for good, reeling off an 18-6 run over a five-minute stretch that put the visitors up 51-37 with 10 minutes to play.

“It’s frustrating because I thought we were in there for a good, long time tonight,” Dunkenberger said. “But as the second half wore on, they continued to knock down shots and we just didn’t quite get in sync.

Virginia nailed 18 of its 29 shot attempts (62.1 percent) in the second half, with Wright scoring 17 of her points in the half. Wright hit 11-of-17 in the game, and improved upon her scoring average of 20.9 points per game that ranked second in the ACC.

Virginia Tech senior Utahya Drye put on a show of her own, hitting 8-of-14 from the field, and 2-of-3 from the line, to tally a season- and team-high 18 points.

“I knew that they were switching on a lot of on-ball screens,” Drye explained. “So whenever I saw a smaller guard on me, I tried to post them up and look for my shot because I know that guards aren’t used to playing post defense.”

Drye didn’t receive much help, however, as the rest of the Hokies combined to shoot 31 percent (15-of-49). Only fellow senior Lindsay Biggs scored more than six, as she went 4-of-11, including 3-of-7 from downtown, for 11 points.

“We were just kind of out of sync tonight,” said Biggs, who, thanks to her 18 points against Carolina, became the first Hokie to be named ACC Player of the Week since Tech joined the conference. “We didn’t play as well together as I feel like we did the other night. They put some good defense on me and I don’t think I was quite aggressive enough.”

Drye added seven rebounds, six assists and two steals for the Hokies, who have now lost seven straight to Virginia.

For Virginia, Wright was joined in double figures by Whitny Edwards (11 points) and Ariana Moorer (10).

The Hokies will now take to the road for two straight games, with their next contest coming on Thursday at 7 p.m., at sixth-ranked Duke.

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

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