Panousis added six rebounds and handed out four assists to go along with her 21 points for the Hokies (12-14, 2-11 ACC). Uju Ugoka recorded her 14th double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. It marks the most double-doubles in a single season by a Tech player since Kerri Gardin tallied 13 during the 2005-06 season.
“I’m very proud of the girls and the way they played,” said Head Coach Dennis Wolff. “When you get to this point in the season, you’ll have a lot of games like this. The girls showed a lot of fight. This was a good win for us and an important win, because we’re still trying to move forward in the standings as we go into the ACC Conference Tournament, so I’m very proud of the girls.”
The first half was back and forth between the two teams with four ties and four lead changes. Tech held the largest lead of the half of either team, taking a six point, 10-4 lead off a Panousis three-pointer with 15:15 on the clock. Pitt responded with a 15-6 run over the next seven minutes, taking a 19-16 lead with 8:26 on the clock. Maddison Penn drained a three-pointer for the Hokies a minute later to tie it up. Tech and Pitt kept it close in the final minutes of the half, but the Hokies took the 29-25 lead in to the break.
Pitt opened the second half with a 7-0 run, taking a 30-29 lead at the end of two minutes. The Hokies answered back, outscoring the Panthers 11-4 over the next four minutes to go on top 40-34 off a jumper from Panousis with 13:29 to go. Tech extended its lead to nine and was up 49-40 with just over nine minutes remaining.
Virginia Tech maintained its advantage, but the Panthers made a late run, cutting it down to one (57-56) with 2:48 on the clock. Tech was clutch at the line in the final minutes, going 12-of-14 from the stripe to hold off the Panthers and secure the win.
Brianna Kiesel tallied 23 points for the Panthers (11-16, 3-10 ACC). Asia Logan added 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Ashlee Anderson recorded 14 points.
Tech connected on 41.1 percent from the field on 23-of-56 including 8-of-23 from outside the arc. Pitt hit 35.7 percent (20-of-56) from the field and was 3-of-15 from three-point range. The Hokies dominated on the boards, grabbing 47 rebounds to the Panthers’ 29.
Virginia Tech will return to the court on Sunday, Feb. 23 when the Hokies travel to North Carolina. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Carmichael Arena.
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