Virginia Tech 78, JMU 60
by Greg Kessler, 11/22/00
The Hokie women's basketball team ran their record to 2-0 tonight with a 78-60 win over James Madison.
The early part of the game was very similar to the how the Liberty game began Friday night as the Hokies opened with a quick 11-2 run. Amy Wetzel was huge in the opening minutes, scoring seven of the eleven points to give Tech the early momentum. Unfortunately, starting point guard Emily Lipton got two quick fouls (the referees were calling the slightest touch all night) and just like at Liberty, Wetzel (and later Chrystal Starling) running the point proved to be much less productive.
Fortunately, though the Dukes were initially able to cut the early nine-point lead, they began to self-destruct offensively and key shots by Wetzel, Nicole Jones, and Sarah Hicks allowed the Hokies to enjoy a comfortable 41-30 halftime lead.
The opening of the second half marked the first time this season the Hokies haven't dominated the beginning of a period. With sloppy play on both ends of the court, the Dukes began with a 6-0 run which cut the lead to five points. From that point, the Hokies steadied the game and the lead began to slowly grow until the final margin.
One huge positive in this stretch was the play of true freshman Ieva Kublina. Though still a bit hesitant on the boards (she had one or two that got taken away that she needed to grab a little more firmly), Kublina played huge, scoring 9 second-half points and blocking two shots, helping to get the crowd into the game.
While Wetzel scored 18 points and gave out six assists, usual star Tere Williams was clearly not on top of her game tonight. Though she finished in double figures, she was stuck at three points until well into the second half and missed several close shots and key free throws. On the other hand, Nicole Jones (who got the start in the middle tonight) and Sarah Hicks both played much better than on Friday night. Hicks still isn't hitting her 3-pointers as well as she probably should, but tonight's performance was a huge step in the right direction.
Final notes on the game: