The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team battled with No. 17/17 Miami on senior night, cutting it to a two-point game in the fourth, but the Hurricanes held on for the 79-69 win on Thursday night in the Hokies’ home finale.
Prior to tipoff, the Hokies honored seniors Sidney Cook, Samantha Hill, Tara Nahodil and Vanessa Panousis along with senior manager Brandi Warner and senior athletic trainer Helaina Dollins.
Chanette Hicks led the Hokies (16-12, 3-12 ACC) with 21 points and four assists. Panousis added 17 points and grabbed five rebounds while Hill connected on 10 points. Regan Magarity grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and chipped in eight points.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the four seniors that we honored tonight,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “Their contribution to Virginia Tech is tremendous and the best way they can be measured is by their character. They are wonderful young ladies who represented Virginia Tech in the utmost grace. They will all move on to a wonderful next chapter in their lives. As for tonight’s game, we fought and we hung in there, but when you lose Sidney (injury) and then have foul trouble it gets tough. We have to give credit to Miami and how they took advantage of our faults. We have to put the pieces together and get better.”
The Hokies got off to a hot start in the opening quarter, connecting on 43.8 percent from the field, including 5-of-7 from outside the arc. Tech went on a 13-5 sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Panousis and Kendyl Brooks to go up 17-9 in the final minute. A long-range basket from Cook closed out the frame as the Hokies took a 20-11 lead. Tech led by 10 early in the second, but went a little cold over the next few minutes as Miami worked its way back in to cut it to a 1-point game at the media timeout. The Canes kept their run going and took a 36-29 lead into the break.
Tech opened the third quarter with a 14-5 run to reclaim the lead, going on top 43-41 after five minutes. Miami answered with its own run, outscoring the Hokies 10-2 over the next three minutes to go up 51-45. The Hokies scored the next four points, but Miami connected on a basket in the final seconds to lead 53-49 heading into the last frame.
The teams kept it close in the fourth with Miami going up by seven with 4:49 to go before a 3-pointer from Brooks cut it back to a four-point game. The Canes countered with seven unanswered to take their largest lead 71-60 with just under three to go. Tech got it back within single-digits, but would pull no closer than seven the rest of the way as the Canes held on for the win.
Adrienne Motley led Miami (20-7, 9-6 ACC) with 26 points and seven rebounds. Keyona Hayes tallied 18 points and five boards while Emese Hof dropped in 12 points and pulled down six boards.
Tech connected on 30.6 percent from the field while Miami shot 39.7 percent. The Hurricanes grabbed 57 rebounds to the Hokies’ 42, but the teams were close on second-chance points with UM holding a slight 18-16 advantage. Virginia Tech forced 14 turnovers and gave the ball up just nine times.
The Hokies will wrap up the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 26 in a 2 p.m. game at Boston College.
— Courtesy of VT Athletics