DURHAM, N.C. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team trailed by just five with 11:52 to go, but No. 5/5 Duke used a pair of runs in the final 10 minutes to hold off the Hokies as the Blue Devils picked up the 67-45 win on Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“I thought from our standpoint our kids played hard,” said head coach Dennis Wolff. “If we can play that hard and try to eliminate the periods where we make mental mistakes then we can hang a little bit longer with a team as good as Duke.”
Tech (7-19, 3-10 ACC) was led by Aerial Wilson with 19 points. Monet Tellier added six points while Alyssa Fenyn handed out five assists for the Hokies. LaTorri Hines-Allen grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Blue Devils (22-3, 13-0 ACC) were led by Tricia Liston with 17 points. Chelsea Gray added 15 and Elizabeth Williams knocked down 12. Haley Peters had 11 points and nine boards.
The Hokies held a 13-9 lead after six and a half minutes of play, but Duke scored eight unanswered points to go on top 17-13. A three pointer from Tellier on the next possession pulled Tech within one. Duke again answered with a run, outscoring the Hokies, 9-2 to extend its lead to 26-18. Tech closed the gap back to six before the Blue Devils took their largest lead of the half, going up 12 (34-22) with 6:46 remaining. The Hokies cut into the deficit, but Duke took an eight point, 35-26, lead into the break.
Tech and Duke traded baskets coming out of the intermission before the Hokies cut the lead to five twice, trailing 42-37 at the 11:35 mark. Duke answered with a 14-2 run, extending its advantage to 56-39 with 6:35 on the clock.
The Hokies looked to make a run as Fenyn and Tellier combined for a pair of threes on back-to-back possessions, pulling Tech within 11 (56-45) with five minutes remaining. That is as close as Tech would get as Duke closed out the game with an 11-0 run to secure the win.
The Blue Devils held the 45-35 advantage on the boards, but Virginia Tech had an 18-14 advantage in second chance points. The Hokies shot 31 percent (18-of-58) from the field and went 6-of-23 from behind the arc. Duke knocked down 35.2 percent (19-of-54) and was 4-of-14 from three-point range.
Tech’s defense held the Blue Devils below their season average in field goal percentage (.474) and points per game (75.6).
The Hokies will be back on the court on Sunday, Feb. 19 when they host in-state rival Virginia at 2 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).