BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After falling behind by 19 in the second half, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team put together an impressive rally, cutting it to three late, but Indiana held on for the 71-65 win in the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Assembly Hall.
“I am really proud of how hard the girls played,” said Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “We never gave up and turned it in to a one possession game with two minutes to go. We just had a couple balls that didn’t bounce our way, but we’re going to come back and play very hard on Saturday.”
Senior Uju Ugoka scored 26 of her career-high 32 points in the second half to lead the Hokies (6-2). In addition, Ugoka grabbed 11 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season. Monet Tellier added 11 points and Hannah Young posted eight points and 12 rebounds.
Ugoka's 32 point, 11 rebound performance marks just the fifth time in Virginia Tech women's basketball history that a Hokie has tallied over 30 points and 10 rebounds, and it is just the third time that it has been accomplished in regulation. It is the first time since February 2, 2009 when Utahye Drye had 30 points and 16 rebounds versus USC Upstate. Prior to that Michelle Houseright tallied 33 points and 10 boards against Fordham in March 1996.
Tech and Indiana traded baskets to open the game and were tied 11-11 after seven minutes of play. The Hokies broke open the scoring with an 8-0 run bookended by fast break layups from Tellier as Tech went on top 19-11 midway through the half.
Indiana went on a 15-6 run beginning at 8:43 that cut the Hokies lead down to one (25-24) with just over four minutes left in the half. The Hoosiers closed out the opening period, outscoring the Hokies 11-0 to take a 35-25 lead in to the break.
The Hoosiers continued their momentum in to the second half and led by 18 (54-36) going in to the final 10 minutes of the game. Ugoka took over, dropping in 13 straight points as Tech cut the Indiana lead down to seven, 56-49, with 5:55 on the clock. Young drained a three pointer on the next Tech possession as the Hokies closed to within four.
Indiana answered with a three pointer of its own but Young again hit one from outside to keep the Hokies within four. Tech closed to within three (63-60) off a layup followed by a free throw from Ugoka with 2:04 to play. That is as close as Tech would come in the final minutes as the Hoosiers went 6-of-6 from the line to secure the win.
Larryn Brooks led all scorers with 37 points for the Hoosiers. Alexis Gassion added 10 points. Sasha Chaplin led Indiana on the boards with eight rebounds.
After getting off to a slow start, the Hokies finished the game shooting 38.4 percent from the field to Indiana’s 34.4 percent. Tech also dominated on the boards, pulling down 53 rebounds, including 19 offensive boards for 19 second-chance points. The Hoosiers grabbed 40 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass.
The Hokies will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 7 when they face their second Big Ten opponent of the week, hosting Michigan State at 2 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.
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