Hokie Women Down Wake

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Last year, Virginia Tech’s women’s basketball team finished 7th in the ACC
and dropped a first-round tournament game to #10 seed Wake Forest, 61-56. It was
a major disappointment for the Hokies. This year, the Tech women once again
finished 7th in the ACC, with an identical 6-8 conference record, and faced off
against 10th-seeded Wake. History did not repeat itself, though, as the Hokie
women notched a 73-60 win. Tech advanced to the second round and will face
powerhouse Duke today at 7 pm.

Senior
Dawn Chriss (18 points) and junior Kirby Copeland (17) led the Hokies, who took
a 6-5 lead with 16:42 left in the first half and never trailed again. Copeland
had 10 of her points in the first half, which ended with Tech holding a 35-28
lead.

Wake Forest (12-16) cut the lead to two points early on the second half, and
to three points on two other occasions, but Virginia Tech (20-8) had a response
every time. After Wake scored the first five points after the break to get
within two at 35-33, VT coach Beth Dunkenberger called a 30-second timeout to
settle her troops. The Hokies responded with eight straight points over the next
two minutes to go up 43-33 with 16:50 left.

From that point on, the Tech lead ranged from five to ten points for the next
ten minutes, then a layup by Wake’s Liz Strunk cut Tech’s lead to three, 52-49
with 8:20 remaining. Carrie Mason drilled a three-pointer just 21 seconds later
to push the lead back up to six. Mason only had nine points and 1 assist on the
night, but she made all three of Tech’s three-pointers. Mason shot 3-of-7 from
behind the arc, with the rest of the team taking just one three-pointer and
missing it.

Wake got the lead back down to three points with 6:01 remaining, but Chriss
scored again just 14 seconds later to put the Hokies up 61-56. From there, Tech
gradually stretched their lead out, outscoring the Demon Deacons 12-4 down the
stretch.

With the win the Hokies recorded their eighth 20-win season in the last
nine years, and their first under second-year coach Dunkenberger.

The good news is that the Hokies advanced to the quarterfinals with the win.
The bad news is that they face 2nd-seeded Duke, who has beaten the Hokies 73-62
(in Blacksburg) and 93-51 (in Durham) this season. The game is set for 7 pm in
the Greensboro Coliseum, and it will not be televised.

Box
Score: VT 73, Wake Forest 60

Ike Whitaker Suspended

Redshirt
freshman quarterback Ike Whitaker was suspended from the Tech football team
yesterday, following an arrest Wednesday on a charge of underage
purchasing/possession of alcohol. Whitaker, who is 18, was arrested in
Blacksburg and was suspended for “violation of team rules” in a hokiesports.com
news release
. The news release said that VT would have no further comment on
the matter.

Whitaker may lose his chance to establish himself in the four-way quarterback
derby that is about to get underway at Tech with the beginning of spring
practice on March 22nd. Whitaker faces a hearing on the misdemeanor charge on
March 23rd, and he won’t be reinstated until the matter is resolved.

One source that TSL spoke with expressed surprise at Whitaker’s arrest,
saying that there were no prior indications that Whitaker would get in any kind
of trouble. In an unusual move, Whitaker apparently posted an apology to Tech
fans on TSL’s message boards Thursday
night at 6:24 pm
. Posting as “ikeqb3,” with an account that was
opened using Whitaker’s Virginia Tech email address, and posting from the
Virginia Tech campus (per IP address decoding), Whitaker wrote:

This is Ike Whitaker. I want to apologize for embarrassing my family,
friends, teammates, football program, and university. I know what I did was
unacceptable and I will learn from it. Your support and concern is much
appreciated. Sincerely, Ike.

Going into spring practice, the frontrunner for the starting quarterback job
is redshirt sophomore Sean Glennon, followed closely by redshirt sophomore Cory
Holt. Whitaker and fellow redshirt freshman Greg Boone are also going to be
given the opportunity to compete for the job, but Whitaker’s status is now in
question.

Pearman Lands at UNC

It didn’t take former Tech tight ends coach Danny Pearman long to find
another coaching job. Pearman has been hired as defensive ends coach at North
Carolina, according to a UNC
press release
yesterday.

Pearman, a Charlotte native who attended Independence High in Charlotte, was
the tight ends coach at Virginia Tech for eight years before being reassigned to
an unspecified position in VT’s athletic department last week.

Though there has been no official athletic department announcement on the departure of defensive backs coach
Lorenzo Ward for the Oakland Raiders, BeamerBall.com has acknowledged it, and Torrian
Gray remains the top candidate to replace him, as reported earlier this week in News
and Notes
.

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