February 10, 2011
Tech ends slide with 62-54 victory
By Marc Mullen
Longwood (6-17) 243054
Virginia Tech (10-14) 243862
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,172
  • High Points: 11 - Alyssa Fenyn, Shanel Harrison
  • High Rebounds: 9 - Nikki Davis, Brittany Gordon

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech had four players score in double figures and set season-highs in five categories on its way to a 62-54 victory over visiting Longwood in its last non-conference game of the 2010-11 season at Cassell Coliseum Thursday night.

Alyssa Fenyn (So., Newark, N.Y.) and Shanel Harrison (Jr., Washington, D.C.) each scored a team-high 11 points, while Nia Evans (Fr., Decatur, Ga.) and Brittany Gordon (Sr., Howard County, Md.) each had 10 to help the Hokies end their 10-game losing streak.

For Fenyn, it was her sixth straight game in double figures, as she added eight rebounds and three assists to her totals. Harrison also had three assists and four rebounds, while Gordon pulled down nine, and Evans added five and a career-high tying three blocks.

Nikki Davis (Sr., Lexington, Ky.) tied her career-high with nine rebounds, adding five assists and four steals. In all, the Hokies registered a season-high 60 rebounds and also blocked a season-high 10 shots.

“I am very pleased to get this win,” head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “It’s long overdue, it’s nice to get a W back in the column, no doubt. But this was an ugly game.”

What has plagued the Hokies during their winless league play – turnovers, long scoreless droughts and poor free throw shooting – almost doomed them this evening as well.

They committed 17 turnovers in the first half and a team-high for the season 27 in the game, went more then eight minutes without a field goal in the first half, and shot just 52.3 percent (a season-high 23 makes on a season-high 44 attempts) from the free throw line for the game.

“We didn’t help ourselves by shooting 50 percent from the foul line, but we did do a tremendous job on the boards. We out-rebounded them by 30, and I don’t believe I’ve ever had a team do that.”

Tech rolled out to a seven-point advantage in the first nine minutes of action as seven Hokies put the ball into the basket. Evans had four and after Taylor Ayers (So., Augusta, Ga.) and Monet Tellier (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.) hit lay-ups on back-to-back trips down the court, Tech led 15-8.

Evans would respond to a Lancer bucket with two of her own with 10:42 left in the half. However that is when both teams went cold from the floor.

Longwood (6-16) would convert just one free throw over the next five minutes, but that was part of a 9-1 run capped by Emilee Dunton’s three pointer and with 2:21 left before the break, the Lancers held their only lead at 19-18.

Tellier responded with Tech’s only three of the night and her first made three pointer in more than eight games to put the Hokies back on top. The basket ended a stretch that saw Tech miss nine shots from the floor, turn the ball over eight times and make just 1 of 6 from the foul line.

It appeared that the Hokies would take a three-point lead into the locker room after Gordon scored with just eight seconds left on the clock, but Crystal Smith tossed in a shot just before the buzzer to knot it at 24 heading into the locker rooms.

“When you have 17 turnovers in 20 minutes, it’s hard to score more than 24 points,” Dunkenberger said. “There were no words to describe how I felt at half. I couldn’t believe we had that many turnovers and the score was tied.”

Tech came out of the break scoring six straight points and after Harrison hit her first basket of the night, the Hokies matched their largest lead of the game at seven (33-26).

The Lancers continued to stick around, though, as they cut that deficit to three before the Hokies pushed their lead into double figures. Longwood cut that in half and were down just four (47-43) with 5:36 left to play.

But Harrison and Fenyn scored on lay-ups on back-to-back possessions to double their lead and the Lancers would get no closer than five the rest of the way.

Tech (9-14) will have the weekend off before taking a trip to South Carolina to face Clemson on Monday night with a 7 p.m. tip. The game will be televised on RSN.

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

HokieSports Shop