November 21, 2010
Tech downs VCU 63-61 in overtime
Porschia Hadley's blocked shot preserves the win
Virginia Commonwealth (2-1) 2332661
Virginia Tech (4-0) 2134863
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,941
  • High Points: 18 - Shanel Harrison
  • High Rebounds: 9 - Taylor Ayers

BLACKSBURG – Porschia Hadley made three clutch free throws in overtime and then blocked a shot in the waning moments to help lift Virginia Tech past Virginia Commonwealth 63-61 in overtime in a non-conference game played Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

With the victory, the Hokies moved to 4-0 on the season. Tech avenged last season’s 72-58 loss to VCU in Richmond and knocked off the Rams for the first time since 1995.

“Being that we have such a young team, everyone has to have confidence to pick each other up when we’re down, and that’s the key,” said Tech’s Taylor Ayers, who enjoyed a career game with a career-high 14 points. “Confidence is the key.”

This victory should give the Hokies, who feature 10 freshmen and sophomores, plenty of that. In overtime, the Hokies trailed 61-59, but Hadley – a sophomore from Montezuma, Ga., who came into the game having attempted just two free throws this season – buried two from the line with 1:06 remaining to tie the game. After VCU’s Courtney Hurt missed a shot, Hadley found herself at the line again after getting fouled, hitting 1-of-2 with 50 seconds to go that gave Tech a 62-61 lead.

Nikki Davis’ free throw with 22 seconds left gave Tech a 63-61 lead. The Rams called a timeout with 16 seconds to go to set up a play for Hurt, who got the ball at the elbow and drove toward the basket. But Hadley came from the weak side and blocked the shot with two seconds remaining.

“Porschia’s a great shot blocker,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “She’s long and she’s got great timing. She gave some extra effort on that one.

“She did a great job at the free-line, too. We’ve got a young team and a young kid steps up to the free-throw line in a critical situation and makes two big shots.”

The Rams (2-1) tried to get the ball to Hurt on an inbounds play, but Davis knocked the ball away, leaving less than a second on the clock. Tech’s Shanel Harrison then stole the inbounds pass to preserve Tech’s two-point win.

The Hokies led 55-51 in regulation after Harrison buried a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:15 remaining. But VCU tied the game on a basket by Chelsea Snyder with 45 seconds left and two free throws by Hurt with 28 seconds to go.

Tech had a chance to win it in regulation. But Harrison’s jumper came up short with four seconds left and freshman Monet Tellier missed a jumper at the buzzer.

Hurt led all scorers with 26 points and added 11 rebounds. But she made just 6-of-21 from the floor and committed eight turnovers.

Harrison paced the Hokies with 18 points, while Ayers played arguably the best game of her career. The sophomore from Augusta, Ga., finished with the 14 points and tied her career high with nine rebounds. She made 6-of-10 from the floor and also blocked a career-high three shots.

“It was a physical game, and I like being physical,” Ayers said. “It’s fun to me.

“I was just wanting to win, just have that drive. I want to prove everyone wrong.”

The Hokies, who shot 39.1 percent from the floor, held the Rams to just 36.4 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers – the fourth time this season the Hokies have forced at least 20 turnovers.

Tech now heads to Cancun, Mexico for the Caribbean Classic on Nov. 25-26. The Hokies will play Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 25 and Iowa the next day. Both games will tip off at 5 p.m.

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

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