The Hokies continued their undefeated streak at home by securing a victory over the Miami Hurricanes with a final score of 69-45; Tech is now 11-0 at home. The Hokies (16-5, 6-4 ACC) successfully dominated the court over the Hurricanes (12-10, 4-7 ACC), ending both halves in the lead. Tech is now .600 in ACC games as it continues its quest for the NCAA Tournament.
Despite it being Super Bowl Sunday, Hokie fans showed up at Cassell to support the team, that rewarded them with an exciting win. The starters Elizabeth Kitley, Lydia Rivers and Aisha Sheppard contributed to the beginning lead along with Trinity Baptiste, who scored two unanswered baskets during the first quarter. Receiving two fouls in the first, the Hurricanes ended the quarter with just eight points while the Hokies maintained a six-point lead.
Tech continued its command of the court as the second quarter got underway. Guard Dara Mabrey scored two 3-pointers for the Hokies, their first threes of the game. They received four fouls during this second quarter of play, one of which the crowd vocally disapproved of against Rivers. The Hurricanes, even after receiving three traveling violations in the second, began to attempt an ultimately unsuccessful comeback, scoring eight more points, leaving the score at the end of the first half 24-16 in favor of the Hokies.
The team’s success carried over into the third quarter, which resulted in a score of 47-22 for Tech. With 1:07 left on the clock, center Alex Obouh Fegue banged her head onto the court as a result of a hard foul called against Miami. Fegue continued to play, with her incident resulting in a free throw opportunity for Sheppard. Sheppard energized the crowd after the foul with a bucket as time expired.
The Hokies finished as strong as they started, ensuring the Hurricanes had no opportunity for redemption, by scoring 22 points in the final quarter. Baptiste added eight of those points in another strong outing from the forward. Guard Chloe Brooks also scored a dramatic 3-pointer with 1:12 left in the game, pulling the crowd to their feet in support of Tech; it was her first bucket of the season. Sydnee Roby gave a strong effort for the Hurricanes, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter.
Virginia Tech played a completely balanced game and was able to overpower the attempts made by Miami to deter them. The Hokies will look to carry this momentum in their next game on Feb. 6 against N.C. State at Cassell Coliseum.