CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After trailing 24-14 at the break, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team outscored Virginia 34-28 in the second half, but the Hokies’ rally fell just short as the ‘Hoos held on for a 52-48 win on Thursday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
“Really proud of the determination and effort the team showed to come back and take a late lead in that game,” said Virginia Tech head coach Dennis Wolff. “Just disappointed that we didn’t have better execution in the last minute.”
China Crosby tallied 16 points for Virginia (9-4, 1-1 ACC) while Ataira Franklin put in 13 points. Telia McCall grabbed nine rebounds.
Virginia took the early lead in the opening half and led by as many as 12. The Hokies struggled to get something going and could only cut the lead to eight with four minutes before the break. The Cavaliers out rebounded Tech 21-12 in the opening period and recorded seven second-chance points to go into the intermission up by 10, 24-14.
The Hokies came out strong in the second and cut the Virginia lead to four just eight minutes into the half. Virginia held on to the lead over the next five minutes, but a layup from Aerial Wilson at the 7:08 mark tied the game at 39. UVa extended its lead back to four two possessions later and held on to the 45-42 lead with just over three minutes to go.
Tellier responded with a layup on the Hokies’ next trip down the floor to pull Tech within one (45-44) with 2:37 remaining. Tech kept the ‘Hoos from scoring and Tellier dropped in a pair of free throws at the 1:48 mark to give the Hokies their first lead of the game.
Virginia’s Crosby made a layup less than a minute later and was fouled on the play. She connected on the free throw to put the Cavaliers up 48-46 with 54 seconds to go. Virginia went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final minute to secure the win.
The Hokies shot just 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from the field in the opening half, but came back strong to shoot 46.2 percent (12-of-26) in the second half. Tech also connected on 10-of-11 (90.9 percent) from the line in the game. Virginia shot 39.6 percent (19-of-48) from the field and was 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) from the free throw line.
UVa held a 33-28 advantage in rebounds and won the turnover battle, forcing 15 Tech turnovers while giving the ball up 13 times.
Virginia Tech will return to the court on Sunday, Jan. 6 when it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a 2 p.m. game against No. 15/23 North Carolina.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).