WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team led by one with 18 seconds on the clock, but Wake Forest sank a pair of free throws with 5.9 seconds remaining and the Hokies were unable to connect on their final shot as the Deacs held on for the 65-64 win on Thursday evening at LJVM Coliseum.
“The girls played with a tremendous amount of heart,” said Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “That was a tough way to lose a game.”
Tech came out strong in the opening half, connecting on 56.5 percent from the field, including a 57.1 percent mark from outside the arc. The Hokies took the early lead and held their largest lead of the half, up 12 with just over seven minutes to go in the first. Virginia Tech kept the lead and was up 28-18 with 4:57 to go, but the Demon Deacons answered with an 11-2 run to cut it down to 30-29 going into the last minute and a half. A layup from Nia Evans with 33 seconds on the clock put Tech up 32-29 going in to the break.
The second half was back and forth between the two teams with eight ties and seven lead changes. Wake Forest took the lead coming out of the break and was up by six (44-38) after the first six minutes. Tech responded with an 8-1 run to retake the lead with 12:02 to go. Wake extended its lead back to 51-46 with 9:21 on the clock. Virginia Tech tied it up again after scoring on back-to-back possessions following a three-pointer from Panousis at the 8:37 mark.
The two teams traded baskets over the next seven minutes and were tied at 61 with 1:35 to go. Dearica Hamby sank a pair of free throws with under a minute to go, but Panousis answered on the other end, draining a three with 18 seconds on the clock as the Hokies took the 64-63 lead. With 5.9 seconds to play, Tech fouled before the inbounds and Millesa Calicott stepped to the line, sinking both to put the Demon Deacons on top 65-64. The Hokies had a chance on the other end, but the jumper from Taijah Campbell fell short as Wake held on for the win.
Hamby led Wake Forest with 24 points while Calicott added 12.
Virginia Tech connected on 50 percent from the field (25-of-50), including a 58.3 percent (7-of-12) clip from outside the arc. Tech also connected on 70 percent (7-of-10) from the line. Wake shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) from the field and was 3-of-9 (33.3%) from outside. The Demon Deacons were 20-of-29 (60%) from the charity stripe.
The two teams were close on the boards with Wake tallying 31 rebounds to Tech’s 30. Tech dished out 16 assists.
Virginia Tech will be back on the court on Sunday, Feb. 16 when the Hokies travel to in-state rival Virginia. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
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