BLACKSBURG, Va. – For the sixth straight game both Aerial Wilson and Monet Tellier each scored in double figures. However for the fifth time in those six contests, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team has been on the losing end of the outcome as the Hokies dropped a 64-60 decision to Boston College, Monday night in ACC action at Cassell Coliseum.
Wilson dropped in 22 points – two shy of her career high – and had two steals, while Tellier added 11 points – her seventh straight game with at least 10 points – six rebounds and two steals for Tech, who fell to 7-18 overall, 3-9 in conference. The Hokies had a third player, Porschia Hadley, in double figures, as she had 10 points – her third straight game with at least 10 – and five rebounds.
Boston College hit a season-high 10 3-pointers and also had three players reach double figures in the win, which improved the Eagles to 6-19, 1-11 in the ACC. Katie Zenevitch, who made just seven 3-pointers coming into the game, knocked down four and had 17 points. Kerri Shields hit five 3-pointers for 15 points and Kristen Doherty had 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds and three steals.
“We played well enough at times during that game to win the game, but we didn’t consistently stay with what we asked them to do,” coach Dennis Wolff said. “We guarded the 3-point shot horrendously … it was major breakdowns.
“The scouting report was ignored and we gave them open shots. So, we didn’t follow personnel and we didn’t guard certain actions the way we had asked them to do.”
The Eagles, who were without head coach Sylvia Crawley who was ill and missed the game, came out inspired for their coach and raced out to a 15-3 lead seven minutes into the game. Zenevitch scored on a lay-up then hit back-to-back threes, followed by a Shields’ three, and it was 11-1.
The Hokies missed their first nine shots of the game before Tellier hit a 15-foot jumper, but by that point the damaged seemed to have already been done. The largest deficit overcome this season by Tech was eight points – at Maryland – and it has been five years since the Hokies have erased a double-figure deficit in ACC play (Feb. 5, 2007 versus Georgia Tech).
And with three minutes left in the first half, the home team’s deficit was 13 (32-19). It seemed every time the Hokies cut the Eagle lead to single digits, a Boston College three would push it back above 10.
“We guarded more passionately in that game,” Wolff said in referring to the Hokies’ win at BC earlier this season. “If we had not given them the confidence to make some of those shots, we could have controlled the game better.
“It was more of a mental breakdown at inopportune times. Kerri Shields made two or three threes on a play we’ve gone over regularly and it was the post players not helping the perimeter players out. So we had a lot of that going on.”
But an Alyssa Fenyn three with 2:30 left before the break sparked a Hokie 10-point run to close the half, with Wilson scoring five in the span. Then, they scored the first two baskets out of the locker room – a Hadley jumper and a LaTorri Hines-Allen offensive put back – to give themselves a one-point lead at 33-32.
It was short-lived, however, as the Eagles answered with six straight points to reclaim their lead. It was the same thing with just over 10 minutes remaining, as the Hokies fought back to tie the game at 47-47, but a Shields’ three followed by a Zenevitch triple pushed it back to six again.
“When you look at the minutes, Aerial played 40 minutes, Monet played 37, Porschia played 38. We end up getting tired at crucial times,” Wolff said. “That may cause us to turn the ball over when we shouldn’t turn the ball over. They are trying to make plays to win the game, but sometimes the fatigue gets the best of them.”
The Hokies have to quickly erase this loss from their minds and refocus on Duke, who they turnaround and face on Wednesday in Durham, N.C. with a tip scheduled for 7 p.m.
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