November 25, 2014
Panousis nets 22 in loss to Old Dominion
By Marc Mullen
Old Dominion (3-1) 294069
Virginia Tech (3-2) 293362
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,189
  • High Points: 22 - Vanessa Panousis
  • High Rebounds: 10 - Regan Magarity

BLACKSBURG – Visiting Old Dominion University had four players in double figures led by Jennie Simms’ 21-point effort that led the Lady Monarchs to a 69-62 victory over Virginia Tech in non-conference women’s basketball action at Cassell Coliseum Tuesday night.

Vanessa Panousis paced the Hokies by scoring a game-high 22 points, but just six of those came after the break. Rachel Camp added 18 points – her fourth straight game in double figures – and pulled down six rebounds for Tech, who fell to 3-2 on the season, while Old Dominion improved to 3-1.

“Old Dominion clearly deserved to win this game,” Tech head women’s basketball coach Dennis Wolff said. “I think they played harder consistently and played smarter when they needed to.

“We got out of sorts and I think the team showed courage trying to fight back at the very end, but we had already put ourselves down in too big of a hole. We are a work in progress and we have to understand the value of every possession and the fight you need on defense for every possession.”

A close game through 30 minutes – neither team led by more than six to that point and the lead changed hands nine times – the Lady Monarchs used a 19-5 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 10-point advantage over a six-minute span.

Simms started the run that included Old Dominion scoring nine straight at one point. When Chelisa Painter scored her 13th and final point of the night on a free throw with 5:21 remaining, the Lady Monarchs led 60-50.

“I just think they were just more hungry than us,” Panousis said. “We kind of let them roll over us a little bit and we didn’t really stay poised on offense. I think we were rushing our shots which allowed them to get transition shots and also second-chance points.”

“I saw immaturity out there,” Wolff said. “We were not poised on offense and we were not competitive enough on defense. When we needed a stop, they were able to get to the foul line or we lost track of one of their better shooters. And then on our end, we were really out of sync.”

The Hokies answered back with six straight with Camp hitting a pair of free throws, Panousis scoring on a lay-up and Regan Magarity scoring two of her nine points. She also added a game-high 10 rebounds, her third game of the year with at least 10 boards.

The deficit was too much to overcome for Tech as Old Dominion sealed the game from the free throw line – hitting 7 of 8 in the final minute – four from Ashley Betz-White who pushed her game total to 11 points.

It was a tough shooting night for most of the Hokies, who connected on just 37 percent from the floor (23-61) and 7 of 22 (32 percent) from three. Most of that damage was done by Panousis, who was 9 of 19 overall and hit four from behind the arc that tied a school record for consecutive games with a made 3 at 16 straight.

“I think in some situation, because this was the first time we’ve seen that type of defense – a match-up zone – girls found themselves wide open when they might not normally be that wide open against a man-to-man defense and they were not ready to make plays,” Wolff said.

“So, they were passing up a good shot and were letting the shot clock twiddle down and then we ended up taking a more contested of a shot.”

The Hokies will be back on the court Saturday evening when they welcome ETSU to Cassell for another non-conference contest that tips at 5 p.m.

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