BLACKSBURG, Va. – Double-doubles from senior Monet Tellier and freshman Vanessa Panousis led the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team past Robert Morris 70-64 on Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.
Tech improves to 10-2 with the win against the Colonials. The last time the Hokies had double-digit wins before the New Year was the 2007-08 season. The tenth win that season came against Robert Morris as well.
Tellier paced the Hokies with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the fourth double-double of her career. Panousis contributed 15 points and 10 assists to mark her first career double-double. Senior Uju Ugoka just missed out on her seventh-straight double-double as she scored 16 points and grabbed eight boards.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in,” said head coach Dennis Wolff. “We had some opportunities to control the game a little bit better than we did that but we let some slip away. But once they took the lead at the four-minute mark, I think the girls made a lot of tough plays for us.”
Jumpers from Tellier, sophomore Hannah Young and Panousis propelled the Hokies to a 6-0 run to open up the first half and Tech didn't look back as the Hokies led throughout the entirety of the opening stanza. Tech was up by as much as six in the opening 10 minutes of play, but Robert Morris battled back to tie the game at 15-15 after a three pointer from Artemis Spanou with 10:17 remaining in the first half.
The Hokies would take control of the game once again using four points a piece from Tellier, senior Nia Evans and Ugoka during a 16-6 run to go on top 31-21 and take their largest of the opening period. Robert Morris responded however, going on a 10-3 run to end the first half and narrow Tech’s lead to 34-31 going into the break.
Tellier paced the Hokies with 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Evans contributed seven points from the bench.
Ugoka came out on fire in the second half putting away three early layups for Tech and propelling the team to a 40-34 lead. The Hokies led by as much as eight in the second half, but a pair of turnovers and a few missed shots would give the Colonials the chances they needed to tie the game at 43-43 with 12:38 left to play in the game.
Tech responded with a 6-0 run to take a 49-43 lead with 11:08 remaining in the second stanza. The Hokies went up 54-49 lead after Panousis made a pair of shots from the charity stripe, but the Colonials responded and tied the game up at 54-54 with just under six minutes to go.
The Hokies again answered with a steal and fast-break layup to take the 56-54 lead, but a three pointer from Robert Morris’ Anna Niki Stamolamprou would give the Colonials a 57-56 lead, their first of the game, with 4:53 remaining.
The closing minutes went back-and-forth, as the Hokies and the Colonials traded the lead four times before Tech surged out to a 65-61 advantage with 1:29 remaining in the game off a jumper from Taijah Campbell. The Hokies connected on 5-of-7 free throws in the final minute to ultimately close out the game for the 70-64 win.
“We’re coming off of a win and going to play a very tough game at Hampton, and you always want to be going into ACC on a high note, so we will be looking to get a win against them as well,” concluded Wolff.
The Hokies will continue their non-conference slate on New Year’s Day when they travel to Hampton for their final non-conference game. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.
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