Friday, February 01, 2013

Offensive woes visible as Tech women fall to Clemson

The Hokies sit in last place after failing to reach 40 points for the third time in eight losses.

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

BLACKSBURG -- The Virginia Tech women's basketball team lost to another of its fellow ACC also-rans.

Last week, North Carolina State beat Tech for its first ACC win of the season.

This time, Clemson came away with just its second ACC victory.

The Hokies lost their eighth straight game Thursday, falling 47-37 at Cassell Coliseum.

Tech (7-13, 1-8) trailed the entire second half.

"Horrific offensive performance," coach Dennis Wolff said. "The lack of understanding what we spent three days talking about is extremely disappointing.

"We had way more life in our shootaround today than we had in the game รข? and that's disturbing to me. It's disturbing that we get out there and whether it's stage fright, whether we're playing not to lose - whatever it is, it has to change."

Five of the defeats in the skid have come on the road, but that was not the case Thursday. Four of the losses in the skid have been to nationally ranked foes, but that was not the case Thursday either.

Clemson (6-14, 2-7) and Tech had been tied for 10th place in the standings.

Now, thanks in part to Georgia Tech beating Wake Forest on Thursday for its second ACC win, the Hokies have fallen into the ACC basement.

Virginia Tech failed to score at least 50 points for the seventh time in this streak. It was the third time in this skid that the Hokies failed to reach 40 points.

"We just haven't been able to get our offense together," said Monet Tellier, who had 14 points.

For the fifth time in this streak, the Hokies shot worse than 30 percent from the field. They shot 25 percent Thursday.

"They're shooting not to miss, playing not to lose, and that's a very bad way to approach a winnable game," Wolff said.

Power forward Uju Ugoka's shooting woes continued. The junior-college transfer was 3 of 14 from the field, with all those attempts coming from inside the 3-point arc. She is shooting 25 percent from the field (17 of 68) in the past five games.

"Uju is struggling big-time," Wolff said. "There was a number of point-blank misses there. Those deflate everybody."

Ugoka, who had 14 rebounds, said she needs to "pay more attention and slow down" to break out of the slump.

Starting guard Lauren Evans was 2 of 7 from the field.

Starting guard Alyssa Fenyn, starting forward Alex Kiss-Rusk and reserve guards Aerial Wilson and Alexis Lloyd were scoreless, going a combined 0 of 13 from the field. Fenyn and Wilson are seniors.

The Hokies were 1 of 16 from 3-point range.

Quinyotta Pettaway had 14 points for Clemson, which shot 36.7 percent from the field.

The Tigers, who have no seniors, used only seven players. They have just 10 players on their roster; two are hurt and one is sitting out the season under the NCAA's transfer rule. Three other players left Clemson in December.

The Hokies shot 19.4 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 21-15 at halftime.

Tech cut the lead to 21-19 early in the second half. But after a turnover by Hannah Young, Clemson's Nikki Dixon scored. After Tech turned it over on a shot-clock violation, Kelly Gramlich sank a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 26-19.

The Hokies finished with 18 turnovers.

Tech's Taijah Campbell, who missed the previous two games with Achilles tendinitis, played seven minutes.

CLEMSON (6-14, 2-7)

Pettaway 7-14 0-4 14, Tay 1-4 1-6 3, Turner 0-5 4-6 4, Dixon 3-5 0-0 6, Dunn 1-11 2-2 4, Gramlich 4-7 0-0 11, Jamison-Myers 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 18-49 8-20 47.

VIRGINIA TECH (7-13, 1-8)

Ugoka 3-14 1-2 7, Kiss-Rusk 0-3 0-0 0, L. Evans 2-7 0-0 4, Fenyn 0-4 0-0 0, Tellier 4-10 6-6 14, Wilson 0-3 0-0 0, Young 2-5 0-1 5, N. Evans 2-3 1-2 5, Hadley 0-1 0-0 0, Campbell 1-3 0-0 2, Lloyd 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 14-56 8-11 37.

Halftime- Clemson, 21-15.

Three-pointers- Clemson 3-8 (Turner 0-1, Dixon 0-1, Dunn 0-1, Gramlich 3-5), VT 1-16 (Kiss-Rusk 0-1, L. Evans 0-3, Fenyn 0-3, Tellier 0-2, Wilson 0-1, Young 1-4, Lloyd 0-2).

Rebounds- Clemson 36 (Pettaway 8), VT 42 (Ugoka 14).

Fouls- Clemson 13, VT 16.

Assists- Clemson 12 (Turner 5), VT 10 (Tellier 3).

Turnovers- Clemson 13, VT 18. -Officials- Kantner, Humphrey, Jones. A- 2,913.

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