November 29, 2014
Big second half for Camp lifts Hokies to victory
By Marc Mullen
East Tennessee State (3-4) 273865
Virginia Tech (4-2) 363672
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,119
  • High Points: 21 - Rachel Camp
  • High Rebounds: 10 - Hannah Young

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech women’s basketball freshman Rachel Camp scored 17 of her game-high 21 points in the second half to lead the Hokies to a 72-65 victory over East Tennessee State University in non-conference action at Cassell Coliseum on Saturday evening.

Camp connected on 13 of 15 free throws including six in the final five minutes as the Hokies closed out the game on a 12-4 run over the final five minutes to secure the contest. Tech improved to 4-2 with the win, while ETSU dropped to 3-4.

“I felt we got tired there during a stretch there in the second half, but Rachel gave us good energy and we made some plays and pulled away from them,” Tech coach Dennis Wolff said. “And Hannah (Young) made some great shots and is a very capable shooter.

“The other night, she missed a bunch of shots and passed on another five open shots. We need her to just do what she did (tonight), which is face the basket and shoot and not worry about it.”

The Hokies controlled the game for the entire first half as they used a 9-0 run midway through the first to stake a 10-point lead. Young knocked down one of her four made 3 pointers in that run and scored 13 of her 16 points before intermission.

She added a game-high 10 rebounds for her fourth career double-double, the first of the season and helped Tech outrebound the Buccaneers 42-37 despite being without the services of starting forward Taijah Campbell and Regan Magarity.

“It’s hard to win game with Regan or Taijah not playing,” Wolff said. “I think the girls showed a lot of toughness. We made a decision to play more zone so you don’t have individual rebounding responsibilities in a zone, so we have to do a little bit better job at that.

“We are a work in progress … and without those two playing they did a good job.”

Tech led by nine at the break, 36-27, and was still up nine, 52-43, with 10:54 left in the game. However, ETSU slowly chipped away at its deficit over the next five minutes and when Shamauria Bridges knocked down her third 3 pointer at the 5:45 mark the Bucs led for the first time in the game at 60-58.

Bridges actually set a Cassell record for most 3-point attempts by a Tech opponent with her 16 shots from behind the arc and tied the record for most 3 pointers attempted ever against the Hokies. However, Wolff was content with that, since she hit just three.

“I think in general we did a really good job on defense,” Wolff said. “(Bridges) had been shooting almost 50 percent from the 3-point line for the year and she’s got deep range and she is capable. So a big key was for us was for her to do what she did, which was 3 for 16.”

Tech regained the lead just over a minute late on a pair of Camp free throws and Kelsey Conyers added a layup to push the lead back to three. Camp would score six of the last eight Hokie points to ice the game for her team.

Vanessa Panousis scored 13 points and added a game-high eight assists for Tech, while Sidney Cook, Tara Nahodil and Conyers all had six points. ETSU had four players in double figures led by Serena Clark’s 15.

“Well, I think this (game) gives us a confidence boost,” Wolff said of the entire production of the team without two starters. “Tara made a couple good plays. Kelsey made some good plays. Hannah made plays. So, those type of thing help us.”

The Hokies will take a day off from competition before continuing a grueling four-game, eight-day stretch that will take them to Gainesville, Florida next. On Tuesday, Tech faces Florida at 9 p.m. before a pair of home games against Northwestern (Thursday) and Longwood (Saturday).

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