Hempstead, NY - Monet Tellier’s baseline jumper with time expiring sent the game to overtime and the Hokies outscored the Pride, 10-5, in the extra session to post a 77-72 win over Hofstra Saturday night at the Mack Sports Complex.
Hofstra had taken a two-point lead with five seconds left in regulation on a basket by senior guard Annie Payton.
The Hokies improved to 5-0 with the win, while Hofstra fell to 2-3 on the season. The overtime game was the first of the year for both schools.
Senior forward Anma Onyeuku scored 17 points and added nine rebounds while Payton finished with 20 points in 28 minutes. Junior point guard Andreana Thomas nearly notched her first double-double of the season with 10 assists and nine points.
Tellier was one of three Hokies to score in double figures with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Uju Ugoka had a highly efficient night by going 11-for-18 for 26 points and eight rebounds.
The Pride scored first on a three-pointer from Payton 22 seconds into the game before a 14-3 run by the Hokies over the next 5:30 gave them a 14-6 advantage. Vanessa Panousis and Uji Ugoka both had six points each in the run. Onyeuku scored back-to-back baskets to pull Hofstra within four, 14-10, with 12:56 to play in the opening half.
But Virginia Tech scored the next five points to take its largest lead of the half at 19-10 with 11:04 remaining. The Pride then went on a 20-6 run to close the half and take a 30-25 lead at halftime. Payton started the run with a three-pointer and sophomore guard Jakelle King-Gilchrist’s three-point play tied the score at 25 with 3:23 to go. King-Gilchrist’s three-pointer then gave Hofstra its first lead since the game’s first minute with 2:12 remaining. Six players scored for the Pride. The 25 points was a first-hal season-low for the Hokies.
Hofstra took its largest lead of the game, 35-27, 1:57 into the second half following five straight points from Onyeuku. But the responded with 12 of the next 16 points to tie the score at 39 on a Tellier layup with 12:07 to play.
Payton, though, gave Hofstra the lead back with a long three-pointer from the left wing for a 42-39 Pride advantage. The Pride could not extend the lead and Virginia Tech tied the game at 44 with 10:27 to play on a Panousis jumper. But back-to-back three-pointers from Thomas and Asia Jackson put the Pride back up by six with nine minutes on the clock.
The Hokies would cut the lead to one on three occasions over the next five minutes before taking the lead, 59-58, on a Panousis three-pointer with 3:44 to play. The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes before the Hokies took a three-point lead, 65-62, with 1:02 to play following four straight points from Ugoka. But Onyeuku hit a huge three-pointer on Hofstra’s next possession to tie the score at 65 with 43 ticks on the clock.
The Pride defense would force a turnover on Virginia Tech’s ensuing possession to set up a final shot in regulation. But the Pride would not wait for the last second as Payton drove the lane for a layup with five seconds to go. That set up Tellier's game-tying basket as time expired to send the game to overtime.
Sophomore guard Alexis Carter gave the Pride the lead in overtime with a baseline jumper, but Ugoka and Taijah Campbell scored back-to-back baskets for the Hokies for a 71-69 lead with 2:52 left to play. Another Ugoka basket extended the Virginia Tech lead to four, 73-69, with 2:05 to play.
A Tellier bucket with 50 seconds remaining gave the Hokies a six-point edge. Payton cut the deficit in half with a three-pointer from the corner on an inbounds play with 19 seconds to go. Tellier would miss the front end of a one-and-one, but the Pride could not convert a three-pointer on their next possession before Tellier iced the game with two free throws with four seconds left.
Hofstra was led by Payton’s 20 points, one off her career high. Onyeuku added 17 points and nine rebounds. Freshman forward Elo Edeferioka contributed six points and a season-high 11 rebounds.Hannah Young posted a game-high 12 rebounds for the Hokies.
Hofstra is back in action Monday night, Dec. 2, versus Concordia (N.Y.) College. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at the Mack Sports Complex.