TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After trailing by 22 at the break, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team outscored No. 24/25 Florida State 34-28 in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome the Seminoles as the Hokies fell 70-54 on the road at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
“Clearly a really, really bad start to the game, so we were running uphill the entire day,” said Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “I thought the girls showed good fight in the second half, particularly Monet [Tellier] and Uju [Ugoka] played very well in the second half and did everything they could to try to get us back in it.”
The Hokies shot the ball well, shooting 43.5 percent on the day, including a 45.8 percent clip in the second half, on 20-of-46 from the field and connecting on 78.6 percent from the line (11-of-14), but Tech turned the ball over 25 times, resulting in 22 points for the ‘Noles.
Florida State got out to the early lead in the opening half, taking a quick 10-0 advantage three minutes in to the game. The Hokies got it down to six twice over the next several minutes, but the Seminoles again pushed ahead by double-digits and were up 17-7 with 13:42 to play. Tech closed within single digits once more, as Ugoka hit a jumper with 8:51 to go to pull the Hokies within 22-13. That would be as close as Tech would get, as the Seminoles closed out the half with a 20-7 run, taking a 42-20 lead in to the break.
In the second half, the Hokies came out fighting and scored seven of the first nine points, cutting FSU’s lead to 17 off a three-pointer from Tellier with 18:00 showing on the clock. The Seminoles maintained their advantage and went back up by 22, but the Hokies chipped away at the lead over the next several minutes and cut it to 15 off a jumper from Nia Evans with 9:30 to go.
Florida State extended its lead back to 18, but the Hokies answered with a 10-3 run to pull within 11 (63-52) with 4:52 to go as Hannah Young knocked down a pair of free throws. That is as close as the Hokies would get in the final minutes as the Seminoles outscored Tech 7-2 down the stretch to secure the win.
The Hokies and Seminoles were even on the boards, with both teams pulling down 35. Natasha Howard had 17 points for the Seminoles (15-5, 3-4 ACC). Emiah Bingley added 13 points. Ivey Slaughter had a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards.
Virginia Tech will return to the court on Thursday, Jan. 30, when the Hokies travel to No. 2/2 Notre Dame. Game time is set for 7 p.m. in South Bend, Ind.
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