January 8, 2012
Hokies handed first ACC loss
By Marc Mullen
12F
Florida State (10-7, 2-1) 393675
Virginia Tech (6-10, 2-1) 142640
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 3,185
  • High Points: 17 - LaTorri Hines-Allen
  • High Rebounds: 3 - Larryqua Hall, Monet Tellier

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The thrill of starting the ACC with two straight wins quickly wore off for the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team. Not taking Tech lightly, Florida State opened the game by scoring 30 of the first 34 points and then cruised to a 75-40 victory over the Hokies in Cassell Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

Five Seminoles (10-7, 2-1 ACC) scored in double figures led by Natasha Howard, who scored 16 points and added eight rebounds. Latorri Hines-Allen led all scorers with a career-high 17 points, as Tech fell to 6-10 overall and 2-1, also, in the conference.

“I think we played the most talented team we’ve played. They really punched us in the mouth early,” head coach Dennis Wolff said. “We showed very little resolve after that.

“We’ve tried to be as consistent and upbeat throughout the whole season. I was thinking ‘we were going to try and play and embrace some of the principles that we’ve had.’ The disappointing thing, for me, is some players reverted back to the way they acted and played when they faced adversity before.”

Howard and Alexa Deluzio, who tallied 13 points, paced the Seminoles early, scoring 19 of their team’s first 22 points. Howard already had six when Deluzio knocked down a 3-pointer six minutes into the game, to give her five and make it an 11-2 FSU lead.

Monet Tellier ended a four-minute Tech scoring drought with a fast-break lay-up to pull the Hokies to within 10 at 14-4 with 12:04 left in the half.

However, Howard scored six straight points, Deluzio notched a driving lay-up and Chelsea Davis (12 points) and Chasity Clayton (12 points, 8 boards) each added four points in a 16-0 run for the Seminoles over a seven-minute stretch that pushed their lead to 26.

“We went eight minutes on Thursday night (a win at Boston College) without scoring,” Wolff said. “We won two games on the road against two ACC teams, and now we were playing the toughest team.

“When things have gone as dramatically bad as they have, we almost stop like we wish the game would end, which it can’t. They miss a shot and they think the world is going to end, or they won’t take the next shot, and that’s an internal pressure that they have to fight through.”

Hines-Allen tallied six of the Hokies last 10 points before heading into the locker rooms as the team matched Florida State over the last five minutes of the first half and trailed 39-14 at the break.

In the second half, the Hokies almost doubled their scoring output of the first, with 26 points, but could not overcome their deficit. They also couldn’t overcome Florida State’s size which led to a huge discrepancy in rebounds (FSU, 45-19) – of which 16 Seminole offensive boards led to 10 second-chance points – and points in the paint (FSU, 38-20).

“Their ability to do what they wanted to do in the lane and our inability to execute anything offensively that was going to get a good shot – the combination of those two things – was the difference,” Wolff said. “Their rebounding ability was ridiculous. They are a good team.”

Tech will be back action on Thursday, heading up to Charlottesville and taking on Virginia, with the tip scheduled for 7 p.m. The Hokies return to Cassell next Sunday and welcome nationally-ranked Duke with a start time of 2 p.m.

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

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