Hokies open Brooks era with 71-52 victory over Asheville

UNC Asheville (0-1) 161481452
Virginia Tech (1-0) 179172871
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,346
  • High Points: 24 - Chanette Hicks
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Regan Magarity

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team opened its season and the Kenny Brooks coaching era with a 71-52 win Friday afternoon over UNC Asheville at Cassell Coliseum.

Behind a solid defensive performance that forced 18 turnovers, the Hokies (1-0) overcame a slow start and gradually worked back into the game by converting baskets down low with 42 points in the paint. Sophomore Chanette Hicks led the Hokies with a career-high 24 points while scooping up three steals on the defensive side. Regan Magarity chipped in 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Samantha Hill dropped in 11. Sidney Cook rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10.

“I’m very, very proud of the kids,” Brooks said. “UNC Asheville is a really good opponent for us to start with. They won a lot of basketball games last year, had a lot of success and returned their whole starting group. Proud of how our kids showed a lot of resolve. We got off to a sluggish start and didn’t panic. We regrouped at halftime, we challenged them and they came out and responded in a great way. I’m very proud of them, it’s a great first step for us.”

Virginia Tech and UNC Asheville (0-1) kept it close in the opening frame with the Hokies trailing the Bulldogs 17-16 heading into the second quarter. The Bulldogs put together a solid second period to take the slight 30-26 lead into the break.

Coming out of the intermission, the two teams traded baskets with Asheville holding a 38-34 advantage with 4:08 to play in the third. Tech answered with Magarity knocking in a 3-pointer to set off a 14-0 run that stretched in to the fourth quarter as the Hokies took a 48-38 lead. The Bulldogs cut it down to single digits and trailed by eight with 7:26 remaining. Virginia Tech went to work, outscoring Asheville 21-12 behind eight points from Hicks in the final minutes.

The teams were evenly matched on the boards with each pulling down 31. Tech shot 47.2 percent (25-53) from the field and connected on 75 percent (18-24) from the line.

The Hokies are back on the court Sunday afternoon as they host the Georgetown Hoyas. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

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