BLACKSBURG – A rough shooting night for the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team on Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum resulted in a frustrating 47-37 loss to visiting Clemson in ACC action.
For the 11th straight game, Monet Tellier scored in double figures, tallying a game-high tying 14 points, while Uju Ugoka grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds for the Hokies. But the team shot just 25 percent from the floor to drop its record to 7-13 on the season, 1-8 in the conference.
“I am extremely disappointed,” Tech head coach Dennis Wolff said. “It was a horrific offensive performance. Forgetting about the 25 percent shooting, the lack of understanding of what we spent three days talking about is extremely disappointing.
“We practiced way better yesterday and we had way more life in our shoot-around today than we had in the game, and that’s disturbing to me. We get out there and whether it’s stage fright or we are playing not to lose, whatever it is, it has to change.”
Clemson, who improved to 6-14 overall and 2-7 in the ACC, had just seven players dressed for the game, but saw contributions from each of them. Quinyotta Pettaway, who had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Kelly Gramlich, who added 11 points and six boards, led the Lady Tigers to the victory.
After Tellier put Tech up early at 5-2 on a driving layup and a free throw, Clemson responded with seven straight points with Gramlich scoring five.
The Hokies would tie the game at nine-all just past the midway point of the first half on a Nia Evans’ layup, but Clemson responded with five straight and would never trail again.
“When we come out and we start so slowly or we make similar mistakes as we do in other games, you can just see the look of our team – we become deflated,” Wolff said. “So we have to, somehow, collectively end that.”
Trailing 21-15 heading into the break, Tech opened the second half with back-to-back baskets by Ugoka and Hannah Young, which seemed to build some confidence and gain some momentum, and pulled the team to within two at 21-19.
However, a steal and fast-break layup by Nikki Dixon was followed by a shot-clock violation by the Hokies. On the ensuing Lady Tiger possession, Gramlich hit her second of three 3-point baskets of the night and Tech would get no closer than five the rest of the way.
“We come out and get two baskets to start the second half, and it looked like we got a little bit of momentum.” Wolff said. “Then we had some confusion and we just threw the ball right to them and they got a layup.
“And it’s a frustrating thing. We have taken every step to try and avoid shot-clock violations and we are constantly talking about it every day … we just need to get them to stop doing it.”
Clemson, who entered the game shooting 66 percent from the free throw line, was just 2 of 10 from the line in the game before converting 6 of 10 in the game’s final five minutes to seal the win.
The Hokies return to the court to face Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 3 with a 2:05 p.m. tip.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).