MORAGA, Calif. – Virginia Tech led 64-63 with nine seconds left, but Minnesota drove the ball down the court where the Gophers connected on a jumper in the final second to claim the 65-64 win on Saturday in the SMC Concord Hilton Tournament.
Monet Tellier drained the front end of a pair of free throws for the Hokies to break the tie and give Tech a 64-63 advantage with nine seconds left, but Minnesota drove the ball down the court where Rachel Banham connected on a jumper in the lane to seal the win for UM.
“As sincere of an effort as we have had all year,” said head coach Dennis Wolff. “For the work that was put in by the kids we deserved a better outcome, but tonight was a night that we definitely made progress.”
Tech (2-4) was led by trio of guards in double-digits. Tellier tallied 18 points, Aerial Wilson added 13 and Alyssa Fenyn posted 11 points. Freshman Larryqua Hall came off the bench to notch seven points. Tellier also recorded a team-best seven rebounds and handed out five assists, earning a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Leading the Gophers (4-3) was Katie Loberg with 20 points. Banham and Kiara Buford added 15 points each while Jackie Voight had a game-high eight boards.
The Hokies took a 15-7 lead after the first six minutes of play, but the Gophers answered with a 23-3 run to go up 30-18 with 5:20 left in the half. Tech went on a run of its own to close out the half, outscoring UM 16-8 to cut the lead to 38-34 going into the break.
Tech came out firing in the second half, outscoring the Gophers 20-11 in the opening seven minutes, taking a 54-49 advantage at the 13:13 mark. The Hokies claimed their largest lead of the half, up seven (56-49) with just under 10 minutes to play. Minnesota responded with a 7-2 run over the next two and a half minutes, cutting the lead to two with 7:13 to play.
Both teams went scoreless over the next three minutes, but the Gophers broke the drought with a jumper at 4:08 to tie the game at 58. Tech and UM traded baskets over the final minutes with ties at 61 and 63. The final tie came with 25 seconds remaining. Tellier's free throw broke the tie, but Banham's jumper secured the win for the Gophers.
The two teams were even on the boards with both grabbing 31, but UM pulled down 21 offensive boards resulting in 18 second-chance points. Tech’s bench was productive, scoring 18 points for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech will be back on the court on Wednesday, Nov. 30 in Iowa City, Iowa when the Hokies face Iowa in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Game time is set for 8 p.m. EST.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).