CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Uju Ugoka and Vanessa Panousis combined for 40 points, but the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team was unable to overcome Virginia, dropping an 80-64 decision on Sunday afternoon in ACC action at John Paul Jones Arena.
Ugoka tallied game-highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season for the Hokies (11-14, 1-11 ACC). Panousis scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half while handing out a game-high seven assists. Hannah Young chipped in 14 points.
The Hokies got off to a sluggish start as Virginia took the early 9-0 lead after almost four minutes of play. UVa extended its lead and was up 22-10 with just over 10 minutes to go in the half before the Hokies answered with an 8-0 run bookended by three-pointers from Young, cutting the lead down to 22-18 with 7:33 on the clock. Virginia maintained its lead and took the 35-24 advantage in to the break.
UVa extended the lead coming out of the break, taking the 17-point, 45-28 advantage after three minutes of play. Tech again responded as Panousis hit back-to-back three pointers and Young chipped in one of her own as the Hokies cut it down to 10 (47-37). The ‘Hoos scored the next two, but Panousis followed with back-to-back jumpers as Tech pulled within eight, 51-43 with just over 11 minutes to go.
The two teams traded baskets over the next several minutes with UVa holding the 54-46 advantage, but Kelsey Conyers completed a three-point play to cut the Cavaliers’ lead down to five (54-49) with 8:49 on the clock. Tech trailed by six (60-54) after Conyers dropped in a three-pointer two minutes later, but UVa answered with an 11-0 run to go up 71-54 with 3:54 to go. The Hokies were unable to rally as UVa secured the win.
“Very disappointed in the starts we had to each halves,” said Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “Give credit to Virginia, but we came out [in the first half] not in a good way. We kind of got ourselves righted, but then started the second half the exact same way. I credit the girls because they continued to fight, but we had trouble scoring and I didn’t think we were nearly as tough as we needed to be on the defensive glass.”
Sarah Imovbioh led Virginia (13-12, 6-6 ACC) with 19 points. Ataira Franklin added 14 points while Kelsey Wolfe and Faith Randolph tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Hokies connected on 47.3 percent from the field, hitting 26-of-55 from the field. UVa was 33-of-65 from the field, hitting 50.8 percent. Both teams shot just over 41 percent from outside the arc with Tech connected on 7-of-17 and the ‘Hoos on 5-of-12.
Virginia forced 15 turnovers, resulting in 13 points while only giving the ball up six times for seven points for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech will be back on the court on Thursday, Feb. 20 when the Hokies host ACC newcomer Pittsburgh. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.
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