BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team used a stifling defensive effort to win its sixth game of the season on Saturday afternoon, as the Hokies held Presbyterian to 25.6% shooting from the field en route to a 55-33 win at Cassell Coliseum.
The victory, Head Coach Dennis Wolff’s 300th of his career, saw the Hokies hold the Blue Hose to single-digit points until the 1:53 mark of the first half.
Tech opened the game with a 15-3 run, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from freshman Vanessa Panousis. The Hokies maintained the defensive pressure throughout the opening period, tallying 10 of their 31 first-half points off of turnovers.
At the break, Tech had opened up a 31-11 lead on Presbyterian and had out-rebounded the Blue Hose, 29-11. Presbyterian’s 11 first-half points were the least given up by the Hokies since they allowed eight against the Blue Hose on Jan. 5, 2009.
After the break, the momentum swung Presbyterian’s way as the Blue Hose opened the second half with an 11-2 run, buoyed by four different scorers, that cut the Hokies’ lead to 11. However, after a pair of Uju Ugoka free throws, Tech immediately responded with a 12-0 run of its own to give the Hokies a 45-22 lead and put the game out of reach for good.
The two teams traded baskets for the final seven minutes, but the Blue Hose would not get closer than 21 for the remainder of the game, giving the Hokies the 55-33 victory.
The Hokies dominated the boards on the afternoon, pulling down 56 rebounds to Presbyterian’s 23, and out-rebounding the Blue Hose 24-19 on shots attempted by Tech. Presbyterian also did not tally a second-chance point on the day.
"I was really happy with our defensive effort," said Wolff. "I thought it was kind of a sluggish game all the way around, but I thought that the girls really worked very hard from a defensive stand point. We had some good moments offensively in the first half, but we could never really get in to a rhythm in the second half and that had us playing on our heels."
Ugoka led the way for Tech, racking up 12 points and 12 rebounds to record her fourth double-double of the year and the ninth of her career. Taijah Campbell also earned a double-double, pulling down 12 rebounds to go with her 10 points. Hannah Young also had 10 boards on the day.
Keyonna Allen scored nine points to pace the Blue Hose.
With the victory, Tech moves to 6-1 on the year. The Hokies will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 4, when they hit the road for a game at Indiana. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).