Women’s basketball defeats Virginia Tech, 64-41

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November 30, 2006

6:21 PM

The women’s basketball team improved its overall record to 4-2 after going 3-1 in its last four contests. The Tribe won its first pair of games against the University of North Texas (64-58) and Longwood University (70-27) before falling to High Point University 62-74 Sunday. The College redeemed itself Tuesday night, however, by defeating Virginia Tech 64-41, marking the program’s first win over an ACC opponent in its Division I history.

p. Junior Devin James led the College against Virginia Tech with a career-high 26 points, while defensive efforts played a key factor as junior forward Kyra Kaylor totaled a game-high 11 rebounds and freshman Tiffany Benson recorded four blocked shots. As usual, scoring was gradual in the beginning of the first half. However, The Tribe broke open the game with a 14-point run to gain a 20-7 lead over the Hokies. After freshman guard Robyn Barton’s three-pointer, the College held a 19-point advantage with less than three minutes remaining in the first half. The Tribe doubled Tech’s points by the end of the first, holding a 34-17 lead going into the second half.

p. Although the Hokies made an 8-2 run after halftime, sophomore guard Dani Kell’s three-pointer slowed them down, giving the Tribe a 38-25 advantage with 16:15 remaining. Tech proceeded to cut the margin to five points after making another eight-point run. The College countered the attack by scoring 13 unanswered points, holding a 51-33 lead with 8:32 left on the clock. With a pair of threes from James and six points off free throws down the stretch, the Tribe secured a 23-point victory over the Hokies.

p. The Tribe’s home opener against North Texas was a hard-fought battle. The Tribe got off to a quick start, making a 9-0 run in the beginning of the first half and forcing a Mean Green timeout at the 15:55-minute mark. Although its lead never extended to double digits, the College maintained control of its opponent for the majority of the half. At the seven-minute mark, however, North Texas cut the margin to just two points. After several missed shots by both teams, the College walked into the locker room with a 27-24 advantage.

p. Senior guard Sarah Stroh opened the scoring in the second half with a three-pointer to put the Tribe ahead by six. The Mean Green did not give in, however, going on a six-point run to tie the game at 30. The two teams exchanged baskets, and North Texas took a 42-40 lead, its only lead of the game, with 10:44 remaining. In the next two minutes, the Tribe made another 10-0 run, with eight of its points coming from Kell.

p. The College seemed to be at ease after Barton sank a three-pointer to give the Tribe a 58-48 lead, but it wasn’t over yet. The Mean Green responded with an 8-1 run, cutting the Tribe’s lead to three points with only 1:19 left in the game. A pair of free throws by sophomore guard Courtney Portell and a combined four points by Stroh and Kell in the final minute helped secure a final 64-58 victory for the Tribe.

p. The Tribe’s next triumph was especially impressive as the College crushed Longwood 70-27. Not only was this the Tribe’s first victory with a margin of over 40 points since 1993, but Kaylor recorded the 1,000th point of her career, becoming the 11th women’s basketball player in Tribe history to do so.

p. Scoring started out slowly for both teams as the Tribe held a 4-3 advantage at the 16:12 mark. After putting a half-court trapping defense into effect, however, the College scored 13 unanswered points and proceeded to make another 10-0 run to end the first half. With a 34-11 cushion going into the second half, the Tribe never looked back. The College finished the contest with a 50-24 advantage on the boards, and it shot 49.1 percent from the field. Freshman Tiffany Benson added 11 points, and six other players scored at least five points apiece.

p. Despite career-high points from both Kell (26) and Barton (16), the Tribe could not conquer High Point. The Panthers first took the lead by way of a 9-1 run; however, the Tribe responded with 10 unanswered points to give the College a 25-20 advantage at the 8:02 minute mark. The Tribe stayed on top until the last 30 seconds of the first, when it gave up back-to-back baskets, causing the College to trail 37-34 going into the locker room.

p. In the second half, Kaylor opened up scoring with a three-pointer, but High Point answered with a 12-0 run. The College was unable to cut the margin significantly thereafter, as it was defeated by a score of 62-74.

p. The Tribe will host its CAA opener against Towson University Sunday at Kaplan Arena at 2 p.m.

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