January 29, 2012
Hokies lose to Wolfpack, 65-53
By Marc Mullen
NC State (14-8, 4-5) 362965
Virginia Tech (7-15, 3-6) 193453
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,684
  • High Points: 16 - Monet Tellier, Aerial Wilson
  • High Rebounds: 13 - LaTorri Hines-Allen

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The effort was certainly there, but the shots just wouldn’t fall for the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team in a 65-53 loss to N.C. State on Sunday afternoon in ACC action at Cassell Coliseum.

The Hokies committed just 11 turnovers and pulled down 22 offensive rebounds, however only shot 28.6 percent from the floor (20-70) as they fell to 7-15 overall and 3-6 in the ACC with the loss.

The Wolfpack had three players in double figures led by Kody Burke’s game high 20 points to lift them to 14-8 overall, 4-5 in the conference.

“I told the kids, ‘I’m disappointed for them,'” Tech head coach Dennis Wolff said. “They did enough things in a basketball game to have a better shot at winning the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot well.

“They really wanted to win today. We played with a lot of energy. We executed what we wanted them to do. We held our own to some degree on the boards and it’s a tough thing.”

The common theme in Tech’s losses is slow starts and today was no different. Twenty-one seconds into the game, Aerial Wilson, who scored a team-high tying 16 points and added three assists and two steals, hit a jumper, but for the next 10 minutes, the Hokies’ offense sputtered.

N.C. State reeled off 11 straight points with Burk accounting for five before Wilson stopped the run with another basket. Alyssa Fenyn added a driving lay-up to make it 11-6, but seven straight Wolfpack points pushed their lead into double figures.

Wilson knocked down a three with 8:36 left before the half to make it 18-9, but a 15-4 run over the next five minutes pushed the N.C. State lead to 20 and it appeared a rout was on.

“How many times are you going to look at a stat sheet and see where one team got 70 shots and the other team just 45?” Wolff asked. “We got 22 offensive rebounds. These kids went after the ball … we had just gotten down by too much at that point.

“I actually thought we executed our offense pretty well at some times in the first half better than we have all year. We just had shots that didn’t go.”

The Hokies responded with a 14-6 run that spanned intermission and found themselves down just 12 (39-27) when Monet Tellier started to warm up, scoring on a driving lay-up five minutes into the second half.

Tellier finished with 16 points as well and had five rebounds, but hit just five of 24 attempts – two of 14 in the first half. But she kept the Hokies close answering Wolfpack scoring trips with back-to-back 3-point baskets and two made free throws with 10 minutes to go saw Tech down 11 (48-37).

“I give a lot of credit to Monet, she almost tried to will the ball into the basket in the first half,” Wolff said. “She relaxed a little bit and made some good shots in the second half.”

“The coaching staff did a really good job with telling me ‘just keep shooting, they’ll fall,'” Tellier said. “At halftime, everybody in the locker room was telling each other to just keep shooting the shots that we missed, they’re going to fall this half. We just all pulled together.”

To this point, the Hokies had committed just five turnovers – all in the first half – and it was a bad time to double that. On five straight trips down the court over a three-minute stretch, Tech did not get a shot off and N.C. State pushed its lead back to 18 and held on for the win.

Bonae Holston, who had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman’s 12 points and three steals, helped the Wolfpack to the win.

For Tech, LaTorri Hines-Allen pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, which included eight offensive boards, to go with six points. Unfortunately for the Hokies, they could only turn their 22 offensive rebounds – which tied for the most this season – into nine second-chance points.

“I think they were rushing,” Wolff said in regards to that fact. “Some of this is because LaTorri is a bit undersized. She does a real good job and puts a lot of effort into rebounding the ball. Then she just needs to be confident, stay with a solid base and go straight up.

“There might have been a half a dozen times that it looked like we had a basket and we didn’t get it. But again, it’s not because they aren’t trying.”

The Hokies return to action on Friday night when they welcome Clemson to Cassell Coliseum with a start time of 6:30 p.m.

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

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