Georgia Tech outlasts Hokies, 87-81

Virginia Tech (16-7, 3-7 ACC) 1829132181
Georgia Tech (14-9, 3-7 ACC) 1727172687
  • Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion) - 1,023
  • High Points: 29 - Chanette Hicks
  • High Rebounds: 5 - Chanette Hicks, Samantha Hill

ATLANTA – The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team battled Georgia Tech in a game that had five ties and 14 lead changes, but the Yellow Jackets outlasted the Hokies 87-81 on Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.

Chanette Hicks led the Hokies (16-7, 3-7 ACC) with a career-high tying 29 points while tallying five rebounds, six assists and six steals. Vanessa Panousis added 17 points while Samantha Hill recorded 12 points and five boards. Sidney Cook tallied 10 points for Tech.

“I’m very proud of the kids,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “We fought, we fought the whole game, but our depth dwindled when Regan went out [elbow to the head] and Sid was in foul trouble in the third quarter. It’s a tough loss; these kids worked hard today. This is something we can build upon; we found a way to stay in the game despite some key losses. I thought we put together a good 40 minutes today even though the outcome doesn’t show it.”

The Hokies got out to a 7-point lead midway through the opening frame after a 3-pointer from Panousis. Georgia Tech answered, cutting it to 18-17 heading into the second. The Yellow Jackets continued their run, going up 29-20 after three minutes of play. Georgia Tech still held a 9-point advantage with 3:47 to go before the Hokies went on an 11-2 run to tie it up with just under two minutes remaining. The Hokies closed out the half outscoring the Yellow Jackets 7-3 to take a 47-44 lead into the break.

Hicks went to work in the third quarter, scoring 11 of the Hokies’ 13 points in the frame. She went on an 8-2 run against the Yellow Jackets to push the Hokies ahead 55-46 with 5:24 on the clock. Georgia Tech answered, pulling within one a minute later. The two teams were tied with just under two to go in the third before GT closed out the frame to take a 61-60 lead into the final 10 minutes.

The Hokies reclaimed the lead early in the fourth and were on top 73-72 with 2:37 to go. A layup from the Yellow Jackets put GT up by one the next minute. The Yellow Jackets tallied the next seven and were up 79-73 with 48 seconds remaining before Hill drained a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game. Georgia Tech went 8-of-8 from the line in the final 40 seconds to help secure the win.

Virginia Tech shot 49.2 percent from the field and forced 20 Yellow Jacket turnovers for 19 points. Georgia Tech held a big advantage on the boards, outrebound the Hokies 50-23 for 22 second-chance points. The Yellow Jackets were also 22-of-25 from the line to the Hokies’ 7-of-11.

Zaire O’Neil led the Yellow Jackets (14-9, 3-7 ACC) with 25 points. Imani Tilford added 18 points and 12 rebounds while Antonia Peresson tallied 17 points.

The Hokies will be back on the court, Thursday, Feb. 9 hosting Louisville. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

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