February 6, 2011
Late Tech run comes up short
By Marc Mullen
Wake Forest (12-13, 3-6) 273360
Virginia Tech (9-14, 0-9) 213455
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,889
  • High Points: 17 - Alyssa Fenyn
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Monet Tellier, Shanel Harrison

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Something had to give on Sunday afternoon as Wake Forest entered Cassell Coliseum with a nine-game road losing streak and Virginia Tech brought an overall nine-game losing streak into the contest.

The Demon Deacons ended their slide with a 60-55 victory, but had to hold on as Tech slowly chipped into a 19-point second half deficit to produce the final outcome. Wake Forest improved to 12-13, 3-6 in the ACC, while the Hokies dropped to 9-14, 0-9 in the conference.

Sparking the late run was Alyssa Fenyn (So., Newark, N.Y.), who led the Hokies with a career-high tying 17 points – her fifth straight game in double figures – and also had a team-high three assists, and Shanel Harrison (Jr., Washington, D.C.), with 11 points and a team-high tying seven rebounds.

“We had a very aggressive finish but unfortunately we had lulls in both halves where we were not as aggressive as we needed to be,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “We were finally able to turn them over in the second half, unfortunately it wasn’t in situations were we could score. We had only two steals in the game.

“So, while we did forced them into 19 turnovers, and I think a lot of those came later in the game, you got to be able to turn a team over and score off of some of it and that is where we weren’t able to get going to truly get back in it. Plus we missed some free throws down the stretch where we could have really tightened them up.”

Monet Tellier (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.), who had seven points and seven boards, and Harrison combined for seven of the Hokies first 10 points, with Tellier tallying the first three. After Harrison scored on back-to-back possessions, the second at the 14:18 mark of the first, the game was knotted at 10.

After the Demon Deacons took a six-point lead at 16-10, Aerial Wilson (So., Cocoa, Fla.) hit the first of two of her three pointers in the game to end the Hokie drought. Then, after a pair of Wake Forest free throws, Tech used its own 6-0 run capped by a Taylor Ayers (So., Augusta, Ga.) offensive put back to put her team up 19-18.

Wake Forest (12-13, 3-6 ACC) held the Hokies scoreless for the next five minutes and used a 9-0 run to build an eight-point lead, thanks in most part to the foul line. They hit 7 of 10 from the line in the span, and 23 of 33 in the game, and took a six-point lead into the break.

The Demon Deacons also used advantages in points off turnovers, forcing Tech into 23 turnovers with 14 steals and converting them into 29 points and second-chance points, pulling down 20 offensive rebounds into 16 points.

“I thought that Wake Forest got a lot of loose balls, a lot of steals, a lot of offensive boards, and got to the foul line and all those are hustle stats and unfortunately we were not able to come up with the same statistics,” Dunkenberger said.

The lead was still six, 29-23, after Fenyn scored on a lay-up at the 18:28 mark of the second half, but a 9-0 run over the next two minutes by the Demon Deacons pushed their advantage into double figures.

The next time Fenyn scored, with a pair of free throws with 10:15 left in the game, she ended a Wake Forest run that had its lead to a game-high 19. Fenyn and Harrison each scored five points in a Hokie 10-2 run to carve into their deficit.

Nikki Davis (Sr., Lexington, Ky.) turned a Tech steal into a short jumper with just over four minutes remaining to get the Wake lead into single digits. Brittni Montgomery (Fr., Fr. Pierce, Fla.) made it a seven-point game with two minutes left, but the Hokies could not complete the comeback.

“We were just moving the ball around in that run in the second half,” Harrison said. “I guess we just didn’t get too many loose balls, offensive rebounds, things like that, in the first half and to start the second half that’s what got us down.

“Those are just hustle stats and it’s about heart, who wants it more. And they wanted it more and they got the win. We want to win. I just think we need to give 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time.”

Tech will play its final non-conference game of the season when Longwood visits Cassell on Thursday and will get back to ACC play next Monday at Clemson.

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

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