UNCG falls to Virginia Tech, 56-45 at Greensboro Coliseum
GREENSBORO, NC - UNC Greensboro played a close game with Virginia Tech and had the lead down to five points at one point, but couldn’t pull out their fifth consecutive victory falling, 56-45 in women’s basketball action at the Greensboro Coliseum Wednesday night.
Senior Jasmine guard Jasmine Byrd led UNCG (10-6) with 10 points, while junior guard Kristen Boone chipped in nine. KaLeah Latham had a team-high five rebounds. Boone, who had five steals, became UNCG’s all-time steals leader with 282 career steals. She passes former Spartan great, Samika Foster, who had 279 career steals.
“We had a tall order coming into today,” head coach Lynne Agee said. “We were a tired basketball team, both physically and mentally and we just couldn’t pull it out. The effort was there and we went out and competed the best that we could today. We had our chances but it got away from us.”
Virginia Tech (11-7), who picked up their 500th program win, was led by Nare Diawara who had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Virginia Tech scored the first bucket of the second half, pushing the lead to 35-24 in the games early goings but UNCG responded with a bucket in the paint by KaLeah Latham to cut the lead to single digits 35-26 at the 17:35 mark of the half.
The Hokies scored the games next six points, but Irene Otamiri got the Spartans back on the board with a jumper, to cut the lead to 41-30 at the 13:48 mark. Jasmine Dixon came off the bench and hit a long jumper to jumpstart the Spartans. Boone kept it going converting a three point play to cut the lead to 41-35 with a little over 12 minutes remaining.
The Spartans defense continued to fuel the offense forcing Tech into several hurried shots and a turnover but it was Tech who got on the board converting a three-point play to push the lead to 35-44. Gini Grimsley converted from just inside the arc to cut the lead to 37-44 and a layup by Brittany Frazier cut the lead to five but UNCG couldn’t stop the Hokies falling for the first time in four games.
UNCG shot 24.2 percent on 16-of-66 shooting and shot 62.5 percent from the free throw line.
In the first half UNCG got on the board first with a quick bucket by picking off a Virginia Tech pass to give the Spartans the early 2-0 lead, but it was Virginia Tech that went on the games first run, scoring four unanswered buckets to jump out to the early 8-2 lead at the 15:17 mark.
Boone was able to get the Spartans on the board early but senior guard Jasmine Byrd sparked the Spartans offense late, scoring 12 of UNCG’s first 10 points, including a three-pointer late in the half, which cut Virginia Tech’s lead to 33-24 heading into the lockeroom.
UNCG hits the road for the next game, taking on Appalachian State in Boone, NC on Jan. 13. Tip time is set for 1 pm.
VIRGINIA TECH 56, UNCG 45
VIRGINIA TECH (11-7)
Nare Diawara 6-12 6-8 18; Brittany Cook 6-10 0-1 12; Amber Hall 2-4 2-2 6; Britney Anderson 3-6 0-2 6; Utahya Drye 2-2 2-4 6; Vionca Murray 1-2 2-2 4; Kirby Copeland 2-6 0-0 4; Laura Haskins 0-2 0-0 0; Lindsay Biggs 0-5 0-0 0; Eleanor Brentnall 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 12-19 56.
Byrd, Jasmine 4-11 0-0 10; Boone, Kristen 2-11 5-7 9; Otamiri, Irene 3-6 0-0 7; Latham, Kaleah 2-11 0-0 4; Frazier, Brittany 1-6 2-4 4; Chamberlain, Meghan 2-10 0-0 4; Hyson, Lakiah 0-0 3-4 3; Dixon, Jasmine 1-4 0-1 2; Grimsley, Gini 1-6 0-0 2; Ling, Ashley 0-0 0-0 0; Brooks, Kemena 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-66 10-16 45.
Halftime: Virginia Tech 33-24 3-point goals--Virginia Tech 0-5 (; Brittany Cook 0-1; Kirby Copeland 0-1; Lindsay Biggs 0-3), UNCG 3-17 (Byrd, Jasmine 2-4; Otamiri, Irene 1-1; Latham, Kaleah 0-2; Dixon, Jasmine 0-1; Grimsley, Gini 0-5; Brooks, Kemena 0-1; Boone, Kristen 0-3). Fouled out--Virginia Tech-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Virginia Tech 52 (Nare Diawara 12), UNCG 33 (Latham, Kaleah 5). Assists--Virginia Tech 17 (Brittany Cook 4; Kirby Copeland 4), UNCG 11 (Ling, Ashley 3). Total fouls--Virginia Tech 15, UNCG 18. Technical fouls--Virginia Tech-None, UNCG-None.
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