GREENSBORO, N.C. – After trailing 37-20 at the break, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team cut it to a nine-point difference with 6:49 to go in the game, but Clemson held off the Hokies for a 69-56 win in the opening round of the 2014 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.
“It’s disappointing on our end,” said Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “But [Clemson] rebounded from last week and came after the game the right way, so congratulations to them. I’m proud of the seniors. I’m proud of Uju, Monet, Nia and Porschia and we’re really disappointed. I’m just disappointed. We had a bad start to the game; we had foul trouble and missed open shots and that caused us to lose our composure. I probably didn’t do a good enough job of trying to impress upon the kids that this could happen.”
Uju Ugoka led the Hokies (14-16, 4-12 ACC) with her 16th double-double of the season, tallying 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Kelsey Conyers recorded a career-high 10 points. Taijah Campbell was strong on the defensive side with five blocked shots, setting a Virginia Tech ACC Tournament game record.
Both teams got off to a slow start, as Clemson held a 4-3 lead at the first media timeout of the game. The Tigers broke open the scoring with a 17-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 21-6 lead with 9:04 to go in the half. Tech and CU traded baskets in the final minutes of the half as the Tigers took the 17-point, 37-20 lead in to the break.
Coming out of the intermission, the teams traded baskets with Clemson holding the advantage as the Tigers were up 53-36 with 13:41 to go. The Hokies responded with a 10-2 run to cut Clemson’s lead to nine (55-46) on a pair of Ugoka free throws. That is as close as Tech would get in the final minutes, as Clemson scored the next six points to push the lead back to 15. The Hokies would get no closer than 12, as Clemson held on for the win.
Nikki Dixon recorded a double-double for Clemson (13-18, 4-12 ACC) with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Nyilah Jamison-Myers added 19 points.
The Tigers connected on 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the field, while the Hokies were 22-of-59, hitting 37.3 percent from the field. Clemson went 21-of-28 from the free throw line and Tech was 7-of-13.
Clemson held the advantage on the boards, pulling down 41 to Tech’s 34. The Tigers also held the advantage inside, scoring 34 points in the paint to the Hokies’ 26.
Virginia Tech wraps up the season with a 14-16 overall record and 4-12 mark in the conference. The Hokies’ 14 wins marks the program’s most since the 2009-10 season.
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