BLACKSBURG – It was the same story again Thursday night for the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team, and unfortunately for head coach Dennis Wolff, that wasn’t a good thing. The defense showed up yet again, and the team made a late second-half push, however, the offense was limited. Juniors Uju Ugoka and Monet Tellier combined for 31 points, but Boston College pulled out the ACC game, 53-46, in Cassell Coliseum.
Since Ugoka made her debut for the Hokies in Tech’s ACC opener against Wake Forest, the pair has scored 181 points – more than 55 percent of the team’s offense – in six games, and Ugoka actually missed one. They each have scored in double figures in every contest they’ve played, including two 20-point games apiece. Only senior Alyssa Fenyn has scored at least 10 points in the span, as she did it twice.
“If our three starting perimeter players go 5 for 27, we aren’t going to win,” Wolff said. “We need to get some of these other players involved to win in the ACC. Lauren Evans is a really good shooter and Monet is a good shooter, I think they just need to shoot better.
“Uju plays hard every play and her energy helped us get back in the game. She’s on the offensive glass hard and she’s very aggressive. We need to get more than just Uju. She had seven offensive rebounds, the rest of the team, eight.”
Ugoka, who notched her second double-double of the season as she added 13 rebounds to go with 21 points, opened the scoring for the Hokies with the team’s first six points. It included a turn-around 10-foot jumper and four foul shots.
Tellier, whose 10-point output gives her 12 double figures scoring games this season, 43 in her career, would tally six of the team’s next eight. When she knocked down the team’s only 3-pointer of the evening – with 5:13 left before the break – Tech trailed by just two at 16-14.
Boston College (7-7, 1-2 ACC) would close out the half on a 12-2 run with Kerri Shields pouring in nine of her 11 points on the night in the run. The only Tech basket was an offensive put-back by Alex Kiss-Rusk – the only points not scored by the junior duo in the first half.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed, but BC definitely deserved to win,” Wolff said. “They played harder for longer periods of time in the game and they were more ready from the beginning which I am a little bit at a loss to why that would happen to us in a home game, but that was the case.
“We were out of sorts offensively for most of the game. You’re not going to win many games shooting 27 percent. We’re going to have to address why we started the game and for a good portion of it, played with a lack of energy.”
The Eagles opened up their largest lead of the game at 14 points with 12:44 to play as Kristen Doherty and Katie Zenevitch each scored on a pair of layups. Doherty led Boston College with 15 points and four assists, while Zenevitch had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Tech (7-8, 1-3 ACC), whose defense is ranked 27th in the nation (as of Jan. 6) entering the night at 52.2 points per game and first in the ACC in points allowed in conference games-only (50.7 ppg), kept it close and clawed back to within three – just like its past two games – with just under a minute left.
However, the Eagles sealed the game from the foul line, converting on five of their six free throws in the final 48 seconds of action.
“We need to be way sharper offensively from the start,” Wolff said. “We need to cut harder, move the ball quicker to the people who are open and don’t hold the ball so much and all those things happened in the first half.
“I think we played with a little bit more energy (late in the game). We got some offensive-rebound baskets. Uju was very active around the glass. But you can’t be come into a game and be running up hill the whole game. We’re not good enough to do that.”
The Hokies return to the court on Sunday, as they welcome No. 10 Maryland to Cassell Coliseum with a 2 p.m. tipoff.
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