Strong second half lifts Virginia Tech past Lady Bucs
Strong second half lifts Virginia Tech past Lady Bucs
Monday, December 18, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va. (Dec. 18, 2006) - Virginia Tech opened the second half scoring the first seven points and never surrendered the lead thereafter, as they went on to defeat ETSU 78-64 Monday night in Blacksburg. The Lady Bucs fall to 4-6 on the season after their first 10 games, while the Hokies improve to 7-4.


Virginia Tech opened up the game scoring first bucket, but ETSU held the Hokies scoreless the next two and a half minutes to score eight unanswered points. The Hokies would quickly answer back with a 7-2 run, cutting the Lady Bucs lead to 10-9 with 12:20 left in the first half. Despite not scoring a field goal in a little over four minutes, ETSU would eventually build a 14-9 advantage at the 10:18 mark.


After holding the lead for over 11 minutes, Virginia Tech would regain the advantage at 25-21 with 3:55 remaining before half. The lead would not last long as Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) drained the first three-point field goal of the game, giving the Lady Bucs the lead at 26-25 with 2:38 before half. Wilhoit was not done from beyond the arc, as she hit another three on the next possession for ETSU, giving them a 29-27 lead; however the Hokies would score the final basket of half, tying the game at 29.


Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) led all scorers at the break with eight points as she opened the game on fire, scoring six of the Lady Bucs first 10 points. ETSU did get the Hokies big post player in foul trouble as they forced Nare Diawara to commit her third foul at the 5:00 mark in the first half.


The first half was tightly contested with there being five ties and five lead changes. ETSU held the largest lead at eight, and Virginia Tech's largest lead was a four-point margin. Neither team could hold onto the ball during the first frame as both teams combined for 24 turnovers.


            The second half could not begin any worse for the Lady Bucs as Norman picked up her fourth foul at the 17:44 mark, which would help the Hokies build an eight-point advantage, 39-31 with 16:46 remaining. Turnovers also hurt the Lady Bucs early during the second half. ETSU would settle down and go on a 12-5 run, which closed the gap at 44-43, when TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) drove in for a layup at the 13:24 mark.


            With the Lady Bucs trailing 52-49, the Hokies would use an 11-0 run to open up a 63-49 advantage with 7:33 remaining. From there, ETSU would only get to within 12 points, but that is as close as they would get. Virginia Tech would gain its largest lead of the night at 72-55 with 4:54 remaining in the game. The Lady Bucs would fight to the end as they narrowed the advantage to 77-64, but the Hokies proved to be too much in the end.


            Wiles finished with a team-high 13 points, while Norman finished with a season-best 12. Norman has now scored double figures in four of her last five games. Kirby Copeland scored a game-high 20 points (16 in the second half) for Virginia Tech. The Hokies finished the second half shooting 67.9 percent (19-28), while ETSU was held to 33.3 percent (13-39) from the field. For the game Virginia Tech shot 55 percent, compared to ETSU's 36.9 percent.


            The Lady Bucs will finally return home on Wednesday night when they host Radford at 7 p.m. It will mark the first game played at Memorial Center in 26 days for ETSU.  There will be a live video stream available by visiting