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March 20, 2013

Tech women's basketball team sees season end at ACC Tournament

By: Marc Mullen

Tech’s Alyssa Fenyn finished a productive career with 950 points,
nearly 500 rebounds and nearly 300 assists.

However, they closed their season with back-to-back losses to Miami, a 64-46 loss on senior day at Cassell Coliseum and a 45-39 defeat in the first round of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The latter was a game that saw them score just eight points in the first half, but come back to make it a four-point game with four minutes to go.

“We are disappointed,” Tech coach Dennis Wolff said in the press conference following the game. “You know, these girls have worked incredibly hard all year, and they showed tremendous character to make it a one-possession game.

“It was just a tough break. We needed to come up with the ball, and then that 3-pointer (by Miami’s Stefanie Yderstrom with 2:15 remaining) took away our chances. We are really, really proud of the kids. I just told the kids in the locker room that we finished last in the league – everyone has made it clear to me what our record is – but we didn’t play like a last-place team (in the ACC Tournament) against a team that is going to the NCAA Tournament, so I am proud of the girls for that.”

The Hokies ended the season with a 10-20 mark and a 4-14 record in the ACC.

Final game for four Hokies

The ACC Tournament loss to Miami marked the final one for a pair of four-year Hokies – Aerial Wilson and Alyssa Fenyn. Fenyn scored 10 points in the loss. It marked the third straight game she reached double figures and gave her 950 points for her career.

Her other career numbers include 491 rebounds, 283 assists and 135 steals in 120 games played in the maroon and orange.

“Alyssa Fenyn has been incredible in the way she has carried herself over the four years here,” Wolff said. “I have said it before, but to have a coaching change in the middle of your college career is not an easy thing.

“Alyssa has been above and beyond in accepting whatever we asked her to do. And it's a sad thing for all of us when, you know, from a coaching staff on down, when you have nice kids that try to do what you want them to do, and then it's over for them.”

Wilson, a backup for her first two seasons at Tech, finished her career with 642 points – more than half (362) in her junior year – 210 assists, 187 rebounds and 94 steals in 115 games.

The game was also the last for a pair of walk-ons who played a pair of seasons for the Hokies – Rachel Nichols and Kerry Sarver. Nichols played in 21 games and recorded four points and four rebounds, while Sarver played in 22 games and scored two points, had five rebounds and four assists.

Tech topples top-20 team in Cassell

In their 71-52 victory over Florida State in Cassell Coliseum on Feb. 24 – part of a doubleheader sweep of the Seminoles by both Tech basketball teams on that date at home – the Hokies registered their second-largest victory over a ranked opponent in school history.

Back in 2002, Tech knocked off then No. 24 Boston College by 21 points. The 19-point win against Florida State passed the second-largest mark – a 16-point win over Virginia back in 1998.

“Thrilled,” Wolff said after the game. “This game showed the type of character that these kids have. When you’re kind of mired in the type of season that we’ve been fighting through, I believe the team approached this game in the right frame of mind despite that.”

Monet Tellier and Uju Ugoka both scored more than 20 points in the win, while Ugoka pulled down 12 rebounds to record her fourth double-double of the season. It was the second time the pair both reached 20. The other was in a win over Wake Forest in December.

Tellier passes 1,000-point milestone

Tellier won’t just remember her second win over a ranked opponent for the mere victory, but she will also cherish it because at the 12:32 mark of the first half she knocked down a 3-point shot that pushed her past the 1,000-point milestone.

She became the 23rd female at the school to reach the mark and is the first to reach it since Utahya Drye scored her 1,000th point during the 2009-10 season.

“Congratulations to Monet,” Wolff said after the game. “One thousand points in college is not an easy thing to do.”

The junior still has one more year, and she has already moved into the No. 21 position on the school’s all-time scoring list. An average year for Tellier in her final season at the school would push her well into the top 10 and could get her as high as sixth.