No. 15/16 Hokies falter at No. 14/14 Miami, 82-75

(15) Virginia Tech (15-1, 2-1 ACC) 1817231775
(14) Miami (14-3, 3-2 ACC) 1719212582
  • Watsco Center (Coral Gables, Fla.) - 685
  • High Points: 23 - Samantha Hill
  • High Rebounds: 14 - Regan Magarity

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In a back-and-forth road contest that saw eight ties and 13 lead changes, the No. 15/16 Virginia Tech women’s basketball team faltered to No. 14/14 Miami, 82-75 on Wednesday evening at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.

The loss marks the first for the Hokies this season, which move to 15-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC. Miami improves to 14-3 and 3-2 in the league.

“This game lived up to the billing, it was a top-15 game between two teams that really fought and had their runs,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “For us I thought we played well for three quarters, but it got away from us in the fourth. I felt it slip away when we missed opportunities to build upon on our lead in the third. Give credit to Miami, they’re a great basketball team and we gave them some easy opportunities out there. We’re going to learn from this game. It was a tough battle and we need to be able to learn from losses like this.”

Samantha Hill led Tech with a career-high 23 points on 9-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-9 from outside the arc. Chanette Hicks added 19 points and three steals. Regan Magarity recorded her fourth consecutive double-double, notching 18 points and 13 boards.

“It was a special night for Sami Hill,” Brooks said. “We need that from her, we need her to be confident in every thing that she’s doing. She hit some tough shots for us tonight. I thought Regan was really good, and we need to get her the ball more. She’s working really hard and is an asset to us. We can’t put it on a few players, we need an onslaught of everyone in order to go out and win games like this.”

Tech jumped out on the Hurricanes early in the game, outscoring Miami 9-2 to go on top 11-2 midway through the quarter. The Hokies and Canes traded baskets the next several possessions with the Hokies leading 18-10 before Miami went on a 10-0 run that stretched into the second frame to go up 20-18. Tech and Miami continued to trade points as the quarter featured three ties and four lead changes. The Hurricanes held the 36-35 lead at the break.

The game continued to be back-and-forth coming out of the intermission, as neither team led by more than four in the frame with the Hokies up 50-46 just past the mid-point. Miami and Tech were tied for the eighth time in the game at 55-55 with 1:15. The Hokies led 58-57 at the end of the frame after Hill hit a jumper at the buzzer.

Miami came out strong in the final 10 minutes, outscoring the Hokies 13-4 to go up 70-62 just past midway. The Hokies cut it down to five and trailed by as many (74-60) with 2:03 on the clock after a pair of Panousis free throws. Miami stretched the lead to 10, but the Hokies again answered as Magarity knocked down six points to close it back to a five-point, 80-75, game with 15 seconds to go. A pair of free throws from Miami’s Jessica Thomas in the final seconds helped seal the win for the Canes.

Tech connected on 42.9 percent (27-63) from the field while the Canes were 47.7 percent. Miami held an advantage with seven 3-pointers to the Hokies’ six, but Tech was 15-of-21 from the line while the Canes went 13-of-22. The Hurricanes tallied 38 points in the paint to the Hokies’ 24, but Tech had 19 points off turnovers to Miami’s 10.

The Hokies will return to the court on Monday, Jan. 16, hosting Wake Forest in a 1 p.m. game at Cassell Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on RSN.

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