BLACKSBURG – Behind a season-high 19 points from junior Monet Tellier and a strong defensive effort, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team defeated the visiting George Washington Colonials, 50-31, in non-conference action at Cassell Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
The victory marked the second straight for the Hokies at home as they have already equaled their home-win total from last season with two. The game also started a home stand that will see Tech play eight of nine in Blacksburg.
“I’m very proud of the effort the team put forth today,” head coach Dennis Wolff said. “Coming off a loss at Michigan State and the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought the team really wanted to win the game. So, our effort, our defensive intensity and our rebounding was good, but we still need to improve offensively.
“I told the team that this is a big week for us, because we have three tough games. We are a work in progress, but I feel pretty good with where we’re at."
Tellier’s first basket – a short baseline jumper off an inbounds pass – tied the game at 6-6 at the 12:57 mark of the first half. After missing her first two shots, she made her next seven from the field and was a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line. She scored eight points in a 16-3 run that spanned more than seven minutes, turning a two-point Tech deficit into a 22-11 advantage.
Tellier finished off the half with a steal and a fast-break layup to put Tech up 26-15 at the break and she helped increase that lead, pouring in five in the first four minutes out of the locker room and her layup at the 8:03 mark pushed her team’s lead to 17 at 40-23.
“Monet is her worst critic, she just tries too hard,” Wolff said. “She was on pace to have a really good game, then she just got herself a little too revved up. It’s never really a question of effort. It’s her giving in to herself, rather than her teammates and coaches and she deserves a lot of credit.”
Offensively, freshman Taijah Campbell added eight points and 11 rebounds, junior Nia Evans had nine points and seven boards and Tellier also had nine rebounds, missing her fourth career double-double by one.
“I thought that Taijah was very active and kept a lot of balls alive and did a very good job on the defensive glass,” Wolff said. “Plus Nia coming off the bench had a very good game both offensively and defensively, so those three deserve a lot of credit today.”
Defense was the key to victory, as Tech held George Washington to 26 percent from the field, limited second chance points to just five, fast break points to two and the Colonials also hurt themselves, hitting just 6-of-22 (27.3%) from the foul line as they fell to 3-2 on the season with the loss.
The Hokies tied the record for fewest points allowed ever in a basketball game, matching the 31 points scored by Presbyterian on January 5, 2009, a 64-31 Tech win. In their history, only 18 times had the team held an opponent below 40 points and never below 30, which they were seven seconds shy of doing before a Chakecia Miller, who led GW with seven points, pushed GW over the 30-point plateau with a layup.
“I was just told that this was the lowest point total ever by an opponent, which is good, but we’ve played pretty good defense in all of our games,” Wolff said. “We just need to somehow find a way to play better on offense.”
Tech (2-2) continues its home stand with a pair of games this week – against Wisconsin as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and versus Longwood on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
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