Hokies rally to defeat Nebraska, 76-67

Nebraska (3-4) 1821171167
Virginia Tech (7-0) 1415262176
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,292
  • High Points: 25 - Regan Magarity
  • High Rebounds: 13 - Sidney Cook

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team rallied from a 16-point first half deficit to defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 76-67 on Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum in the 2016 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“Good win for us, it’s great to represent the ACC and add to our win total,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “We understand that it needs to be a little bit better and that’s what we’re going to be trying to do every day.”

Regan Magarity was huge for the Hokies, tying a career-high with 25 points, which included a new career mark of four made 3-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds and three steals.

Sidney Cook also chipped in with her second consecutive double-double for the Hokies, tallying 14 points and 13 boards. Senior Vanessa Panousis had her best outing of the young season, connecting on four triples and finishing with 17 points.

“Player of the game in my opinion, Regan Magarity,” Brooks said. “I was really impressed with the way she defended Shepard and she still had enough in the tank to go down on the offensive end and create points for herself.”

The Hokies came out flat in the first half, shooting just 29.3 percent from the field while Nebraska connected on an impressive 59.3 percent. Nebraska saw a late lead in the second quarter grow to 16 points before Tech went on the offensive, making a quick six point run right before half. Chanette Hicks used steal and a drive to the basket to give the Hokies some momentum heading into the break as Tech cut it to a 10-point, 39-29 game.

“I just thought we were a step behind. We were rushing, we had no rhythm in our offense,” commented Brooks. “Second half we came out and it was a different mindset ‘Let’s play one possession at a time’ and we generated our offense from our defense. That’s what we’ve been doing all year long.”

Nebraska pushed its lead back to 13 coming out of the intermission, but the Hokies answered with an 8-0 run to cut it to five in the third quarter. Tech got it down to one heading into the final frame and an early layup from Magarity gave the Hokies their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. The fourth quarter was all Hokies as Tech held a 21-11 advantage in the final 10 minutes.

It was a tale of two halves as the Hokies came out and shot 51.5% from the field after the break, including eight three point baskets. The Hokies outscored the Huskers 47-28 in the second stanza.

Hicks once again provided excellent energy and effort, coming up with six steals, five rebounds and one block. The sophomore came into the contest third in the country in steals per game. Tech forced Nebraska into 25 turnovers on the game, resulting in 24 points.

Jessica Shephard led the Huskers with 25 total points and 14 rebounds. Nicea Eliely and Jasmine Cincore tallied nine points each.

Next up for the Hokies is a clash with Gardner-Webb on Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.

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