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February 18, 2014

Tech women end skid with home win over BC

By: Marc Mullen

Playing without injured star Uju Ugoka, the Hokies rallied from a 13-point deficit to get their first ACC victory of the season

Hannah Young scored 11 points in Tech’s win over BC - her sixth
double-digit scoring outing of the season.

After completing a winless January – eight overall losses and seven in the ACC – Virginia Tech welcomed the month of February with its first conference win of the season, a 70-63 overtime victory over Boston College in Cassell Coliseum on Feb. 2.

Four Hokies scored in double figures in the win – and none of them were Uju Ugoka, who did not play because of a sprained knee suffered in practice a day earlier.

Freshman Vanessa Panousis led the Hokies with 18 points, with half of them coming in overtime, as Tech scored the first 10 points in the extra session and then held on for the win. Senior Monet Tellier forced the overtime, though, as she knocked down a free throw with 4 seconds left to tie the game at 56.

“We knew this day would come,” Tellier said. “We just fought a little bit harder to actually get the win. It just relieves a lot of stress and pressure that we had on our shoulders.”

Tellier had a solid all-around game, scoring 17 points, handing out seven assists and pulling down six rebounds in 44 minutes of action. Hannah Young posted her third double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Maddison Penn came off the bench to score 15 points, tying her season high.

“I’m very, very proud of these kids,” Tech coach Dennis Wolff said. “We don’t have to talk about not having an ACC win or any of that. We can just try to concentrate on winning the next game.

“I told the girls before the game that, if we all put forth the type of effort that we ended up putting forth today, then it would be a memorable day. Monet deserves about as much credit as you can give a player, because – forgetting about the numbers – with her desire to win the game, she almost played herself to exhaustion.”

The game also marked the first time under Wolff that the Hokies were able to overcome a deficit of 10 or more points and record a victory. Boston College led by 13 points with 3:01 left in the first half.

The largest deficit overcome by Tech under Wolff was nine points and all three occasions occurred last season – against Wisconsin, Hampton and Georgia Tech. Tech overcame its largest deficit since falling behind by 17 against Vanderbilt in a 74-68 win on Dec. 30, 2010.

Tellier reaches 1,300-point milestone

On Feb. 9, Tellier scored the 1,300th point of her Tech career, as she capped 9-0 run by her team to give them a 10-point, second-half lead over No. 14/17 NC State. Unfortunately, the Wolfpack would erase that deficit and pull out a 72-71 overtime win, dropping the Hokies under .500 (11-12 overall) for the first time this season.

To spoil the afternoon even more, late in the second half, Tellier injured her wrist as she attempted to stop a Wolfpack fast-break opportunity, leaving her unavailable afterward to speak at the postgame news conference.

Entering the season, Tellier sat in 21st place on the school’s list for career scoring and has passed 12 players to become just the ninth Hokie to score more than 1,300 career points. In the NC State game, she passed Amy Byrne (1986-90; 1,291 points).

Tellier could pass more players and has a legitimate shot at being one of just seven players to score 1,400 career points, provided she stays on her current pace.

Of the school’s top-10 scorers, only Carrie Mason (2002-06; 1,369 points) played any of her time in the ACC and that was her last two seasons. So Tellier stands as the Hokies’ all-time leading scorer in ACC games.

Tech gives home crowd something to cheer about

Even though the loss to the Wolfpack dropped the Hokies to 8-6 in Cassell this season, they’ve certainly given the home crowd their money’s worth. After starting 7-1 at home, a start that included wins over Florida out of the SEC and Michigan State from the Big Ten, the Hokies have suffered their setbacks in league play, but have battled in all of them except one.

They’ve played two overtime games – and won one – and had Miami and No. 3 Duke close down the stretch. Even their seven-point loss to Virginia was tied with two minutes remaining.

The Hokies’ scoring margin in ACC road games this year is minus 18.5 points per game, but their home margin is minus 5.2 points per game – and that includes a 21-point loss to Georgia Tech.

That bodes well for Tech, as its final two ACC games in Cassell are against teams that are outscored by more than 10 points a game in league play – Pittsburgh (minus 18.9) and Clemson (minus 12.5)