January 6, 2011
Tech loses ACC opener to Florida State
By Marc Mullen
(24) Florida State (13-3) 394079
Virginia Tech (9-6) 202848
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,503
  • High Points: 11 - Monet Tellier
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Shanel Harrison

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It was a tall task for Virginia Tech in its ACC home opener Thursday night, taking on #24/19 Florida State, and the Seminoles used their size to register a 79-48 victory at Cassell Coliseum.

The Seminole bigs, 6-foot-4 Cierra Bravard, 6-foot-3 Natasha Howard, and 6-footer Chasity Clayton, combined to shoot 11-of-13 from the floor and each scored eight points before the break as they helped their team take a 19-point halftime lead.

Florida State (13-3, 1-0 ACC) ended the game with a 34-10 edge in points in the paint and out-rebounded Tech, 43-31. Clayton ended with a game-high 15 points, 5-foot-11 guard Alexa Deluzio had 15, Courtney Ward scored 11 and Bravard finished with 10. All four pulled down five rebounds apiece.

“My hat’s off to Florida State, they played a heck of a game,” said Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger. “They shot the ball extremely well. For every defense we ran, they had a game-plan to attack. For every press we tried to run, they had a break to attack it.

“We just really struggled to get in sync on both ends of the court. They took us out of our offenses when they were on defense, and they attacked very well when we were on the defense end.”

Virginia Tech scored the first basket of the game on a short jumper by Brittany Gordon (Sr., Howard County, Md.). However, over the next nine minutes the Hokies missed their next 12 shots, including five three pointers, and turned the ball over three times.

Monet Tellier (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.) and Gordon each made 1-of-2 free throws in the stretch, and when Tellier made a baseline jumper at the 10:41 mark, the Hokies trailed 14-6.

Clayton scored eight of the Seminoles first 12 points, which was followed by three straight by Bravard giving her team a double-figure lead they would never relinquish.

Trailing by 18 with five minutes to go in the first, the Hokies kept pace before the break as Nia Evans (Fr., Decatur, Ga.) scored three straight baskets and LaTorri Hines-Allen (Fr., Montclair, N.J.) added a pair, included a bucket just before the buzzer.

Shanel Harrison (Jr., Washington, D.C.), who was held scoreless in the first half, led Tech with nine points after the break and finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, but no other Hokie had more than three. Tellier tallied a team-high 11 points, Evans ended with eight and Hines-Allen seven.

“This [result] is very much a surprise,” said Dunkenberger. “This is a team that beat Vanderbilt by six. We beat Vanderbilt by six. I expected this game to go down to the wire and to be a barnburner.”

Virginia Tech (9-6, 0-1 ACC) will only see its next two home opponents get tougher. They will welcome in 15-1 Miami on Sunday at 2 p.m., which will be the program’s 1,000th career game, and will then host Duke, currently ranked third in both polls, next Sunday, Jan. 16.

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

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