December 21, 2014
Strong second half gives program win No. 600
By Marc Mullen
Radford (3-8) 273360
Virginia Tech (8-4) 284573
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,253
  • High Points: 22 - Rachel Camp
  • High Rebounds: 9 - Sidney Cook

BLACKSBURG Rachel Camp and Vanessa Panousis each topped 20 points as the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team won its fourth straight game, a 73-60 victory over Radford in non-conference action at Cassell Coliseum Sunday afternoon – marking the 600th career win in Tech women’s basketball program history.

For Camp, it was the 10th time in the past 11 games she’s scored in double figures, which includes six 20-plus point games. She had 22 points, four rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes. Panousis has eight double figures games this season, and three with at least 20. She finished with 21 points, four boards and two assists in 38 minutes.

“These two (Camp and Panousis) played very well in the second half so we were able to win the game, but we need to play better,” Tech head coach Dennis Wolff said. “I know the shooting percentage (Tech shot 47 percent from the floor), but they outrebounded us (39-34) and we were just stuck in mud to start the game. And you can credit Radford but we need to have a little more zip.”

Just two minutes into the contest, the game appeared it would follow suit with the Hokies’ last three in Cassell – 20-plus blowouts decided by the half. Panousis knocked down a 3-point basket, Camp scored on a fast-break layup and when Dominique Powell make her first basket with 17:51 left in the first, Tech led 7-1.

Radford (3-7), though, would put the clamps on the Hokies’ offense and would hold them to just two points over the next nine minutes of play. On 18 possessions in that span, Tech made just one of 12 shots from the floor, missed both of its free throw attempts and turned the ball over five times.

“I’d like to credit Radford,” Wolff said. “Certainly in the first half they played harder than we did. They are a very well-coached team and I thought, you can look for any rational on our end as you can – exams, we haven’t played in a week, whatever it is – we just needed to play better than we did in the first half.”

However, when Panousis ended the drought with her second 3-pointer of the afternoon with 8:37 left before intermission, the conversion tied the game at 12-12. The teams would play to the half with neither taking more than a four-point advantage and Tech led by one (28-27) at the break.

Out of the locker rooms, the Hokies used a 10-2 run to build a nine-point lead and maintained that through the heart of the second half. Radford would get as close as four after a 6-0 run with 6:22 left in the game, but Tech responded with seven straight of its own – five from Panousis – and closed the game out from the free throw line.

“The main thing (in the second half) was energy and to execute our offense,” Panousis said. “I think in the first half, I’m not sure what our mindset was with each person, but we weren’t really focused. There was no fiery halftime speech. It was really calm. I just think a lot more people were invested in the second half.”

“We’re still having a trouble guarding the ball, so we played a little more zone in the second half and I thought it helped us,” Wolff said. “If nothing else, it stopped us from fouling during that stretch midway through the second half.

“I still think we need more consistency out of the team than we are getting. Sidney Cook had good minutes today – 14 minutes, nine points and nine rebounds … and Taijah (Campbell) had a good second half.”

Tech (8-4) will take a week’s break before returning to the court on Tuesday, Dec. 30 with a home contest against Hofstra, which tips at 7 p.m.

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