BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team was tied up at 58 with No. 12/14 Louisville in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals outscored the Hokies 30-12 the rest of the way to secure an 88-70 win on Thursday night in ! ACC action at Cassell Coliseum.
Chanette Hicks led the Hokies (16-8, 3-8 ACC) with 19 points, six rebounds and seven steals. With her first steal of the game, Hicks broke the single-season record of 91 which she set last season. Sidney Cook added 18 points and five boards while Samantha Hill tallied 13 points, six rebounds. Vanessa Panousis chipped in 12 points and three assists.
“I think our team is too good for moral victories,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “We were playing a man down and I refer to Regan [Magarity] as our security blanket. She does so much for us, not just her double-doubles, but knowing that she is back there and is going to erase some of the mistakes we make. She brings positive leadership to the court and we need that. But I really thought the rest of the team stepped up through three quarters. We did a good job of competing and playing hard; we’ve gotten back to that the past couple games. The fourth quarter just got away from us. We started making some mental errors; give Louisville credit they took advantage of it.
The first quarter went back and forth between the two teams with five ties, the last at 17-17 with just under two minutes to play, but the Cardinals took the 21-19 lead heading into the second. Tech tied it up with a jumper from Hicks in the opening seconds, and the teams continued to trade baskets over the next few minutes, knotted for the seventh time at 28-28 with 7:06 on the clock. Louisville went on a 12-4 run to go on top 40-32, but the Hokies scored the final three points of the half to cut it to a five-point game at the break.
Louisville held the lead through much of the third quarter, but the Hokies kept it close and trailed by two with 2:55 to go before a Hicks layup tied it up 54-54 on the next trip down the floor. The Cardinals held the 58-56 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes of the game. Panousis quickly tied it up early in the fourth on a pair of free throws in the opening seconds, but Louisville answered with an 11-0 run to go up 69-58 with 7:32 to go. Tech got it back down to six (69-63) 90 seconds later, but the Cardinals closed out the game, outscoring the Hokies 19-7 in the final minutes.
Tech shot 40 percent from the field while the Cardinals connected on 57.8 percent, including an 85.7 percent clip in the fourth quarter. The Hokies held the advantage in the turnover battle, forcing 15 while only giving the ball up eight times but the Cardinals outrebounded Tech 48-27.
Asia Durr led the Cardinals (21-6, 8-4 ACC) with 30 points. Mariya Morre tallied 17 points and 11 assists. Myisha Hines-Allen added 13 points, 13 rebounds while Sam Fuehring chipped in 11.
The Hokies are back on the court Sunday, Feb. 12 at NC State. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum.