BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team dominated from start to finish, opening the season with an 84-32 win over Howard University in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies matched their program-best with six players scoring in double figures, led by freshman Maddison Penn’s 13-point debut. Howard was paced by Te’Shya Heslip with 10 points.
“This was a good way to start the season,” said Virginia Tech Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “The girls played really unselfishly. I thought Vanessa [Panousis] set the tone early in the game and we played with a lot of confidence.”
Tech’s 84 points were the most the team has scored in a game since beating Alcorn State on Dec. 29, 2010 at home, 87-44, and the most in an opener since taking down High Point 103-64 to start off the 2007-08 season.
After early scores by both teams, Tech got things going with a 9-0 run to begin to pull away from the Bison. The Hokies led by as many as 22 points in the first half, much in part to a 21-2 run that started midway through the opening period.
Tech took a 37-15 lead into the break as Howard scored just twice in the final ten minutes of the first half and was 0-for-10 from beyond the arc. Victoria Gonzalez was the only Bison player to score more that two points in the first half, scoring three.
A quick 3-pointer from Hannah Young opened the second half and sparked an 11-0 run for the Hokies in the first three minutes of the new period, forcing an early Howard timeout. The first bucket for the Bison came five minutes into the second half and the Hokies continued to cruise through the second half.
The Bison never connected from three on 13 attempts and Tech outrebounded its opponent 64-32.
Nia Evans was perfect on the day going 4-for-4 from the field, including her first career three pointer. She also added 3-for-3 from the line and finished with 12 points, while Young recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. Joining the pair in double figures were Monet Tellier and Taijah Campbell with 12 points each, and Uju Ugoka also added 11 points for the Hokies.
The win moved the Hokies to 29-9 in season openers as they earned their first 50-plus point win since the 2004-05 season.
The Hokies return to action on Monday Nov. 11 as they travel to Norfolk, Va., to take on Old Dominion at 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).