Tech advances, knocks off Penn State, 64-55 in WNIT

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Virginia Tech (20-13) 2017121564
Penn State (21-11) 134201855
  • University Park, Pa. - 1,310
  • High Points: 13 - Chanette Hicks
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Regan Magarity

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Five Hokies hit double-digits as the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team keeps rolling in postseason play, knocking off Penn State 64-55 in the third round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

Chanette Hicks led the Hokies (20-13) with 13 points, six assists and five steals while tallying zero turnovers. Vanessa Panousis and Samantha Hill each added 12 points. Sidney Cook and Kendyl Brooks chipped in 11 points. Regan Magarity led on the boards with eight rebounds and posted two blocks.

“Obviously at this time of year it’s survive and advance,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “I’m very excited for this group. This first season that we’ve with each other has been very educational to say the least. We got off to a tremendous start, winning our first 15 games and ranked as high as 15, but we kind of lost our confidence a bit during the middle. But to continue to play in the postseason, against traditional powerhouses is only going to help our program. I thought tonight we got contributions from a lot of different people; they stepped up and played with a lot of confidence. I’m very happy for my group. They’ve had a tremendous attitude and approach to the WNIT. I’m glad we are able to continue on.”

Tech and Penn State traded baskets early in the opening quarter with the Hokies leading by five with 3:41 to go after back-to-back 3-pointers from Panousis. The Lady Lions drained a 3-pointer of their own, but that was the last bucket for Penn State for the next nine minutes as Tech went on a 20-0 run. Penn State would hit just one field goal in the second quarter as the Hokies took a 37-17 lead into the break.

Virginia Tech took its largest lead of the game coming out of the intermission off a layup from Cook, but Penn State answered with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit down to 15 with 5:41 on the clock. Tech kept its advantage, but the Lady Lions used an 11-2 run late in the frame to close it to single-digits with 13 seconds to go. Hill drained a 3-pointer in the final seconds to give Tech a 49-37 advantage heading into the final 10.

Brooks hit a long-range basket to open the fourth, but the Lady Lions hit one on their end. Tech pushed its lead back to 16 just shy of midway. The Hokies maintained a double-digit advantage until the final 62 seconds when Penn State’s Teniya Page hit a 3-pointer, cutting it to 62-53. Hicks drained a pair of free throws in the final minutes to help the Hokies seal the win.

Page led the Lady Lions (21-11) with 23 points. Amari Carter tallied 10 points, seven rebounds.

Tech held the advantage on the boards 37-33. The Hokies forced 14 turnovers, giving the ball up 12 times. Penn State connected on 40.4 percent from the field and was 5-of-12 from outside while the Hokies shot 38.3 percent and 10-of-28 from long range.

The Hokies will be in action in the quarterfinals of the WNIT on Saturday. Tech will travel to Michigan for a 2 p.m. contest at

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