Tech pulls away in second half to knock off USC Upstate

USC Upstate (0-3) 192110656
Virginia Tech (3-0) 1224272487
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,162
  • High Points: 19 - Alexis Jean
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Regan Magarity
2017-18 Virginia Tech Women's Basketball Ticket Info
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BLACKSBURG – Led by Alexis Jean’s 19 points, Virginia Tech placed five players in double figures to rally from a halftime deficit and knock off USC Upstate 87-56 in a non-conference late-night game played at Carilion Clinic Court on Friday night.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 3-0 on the season, while USC Upstate fell to 0-3.

Playing in a game that tipped around 9:30 because of the Hokies’ volleyball match earlier in the evening, Tech trailed 40-36 at halftime after shooting just 32.3 percent and committing 11 turnovers. But as they did in Monday’s win over Auburn, the Hokies dominated in the third quarter and pulled away for the victory.

“This is actually the latest I’ve ever played a basketball game,” Tech coach Kenny Brooks said. “We just really didn’t get going early. Give Upstate credit. They did a tremendous job. They spread us out and attacked us, and we didn’t handle it well. Missed some shots early and just had a lackluster first half.

“The second half, I thought we came out and played a little more the way we wanted to play. I thought Kendyl [Brooks] did a good job of getting us going, hitting a couple of shots, and then from there, we just started rolling.

“We need to get more contributions across the board, but it’s only game [No.] 3. You expect situation like this, but I thought we handled it well in the second half.

The Hokies outscored USC Upstate 27-10 in the third period, shooting 50 percent and hitting four 3-pointers. They used a 16-3 run in the period to grab the lead, taking it for good on Jean’s jumper with 7:10 left. In contrast, the Spartans went cold from the floor, making just three shots during the quarter.

Jean hit 8 of 12 from the floor for the Hokies, who shot 54.3 percent from the floor in the second half and 43.9 for the game. Regan Magarity added 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Aisha Sheppard had 14 points. Both Kendyl Brooks and Chanette Hicks finished with 12 each.

Tamera Thorpe led the Spartans with 22 points.


• Tech improved to 19-2 in non-conference games under Kenny Brooks and 19-0 against non-conference competition during the regular season.

• Jean recorded her second consecutive double-double.

• Magarity’s double-double marked her first of the season and her 17th of her career.

• Sheppard played her best game of the season, scoring 14 points and hitting four 3-pointers. The freshman, along with Kendyl Brooks, came just two 3-pointers of tying the school record, and she has hit nine 3’s in the Hokies’ first three games.

• Hicks recorded four steals in the win, which now give her 225 for her career. The junior needs just 28 more to break the school record for steals in a career.

• The Hokies finished with nine 3-pointers and have hit at least nine 3-pointers in each of their first three games. Going back to last season, they have hit at least nine in six straight games.

• Tech is now 12-2 under Kenny Brooks when hitting at least nine 3-pointers in a game.

• Tech set season highs in both free throws made (20), attempted (28) and percentage (71.4)


Tech returns to action Sunday when it takes on UCF at Carilion Clinic Court. The Hokies are 1-1 all time against UCF, winning last year’s game in Orlando, Florida 67-64 behind Sidney Cook’s 17 points and nine rebounds. Sunday’s game tips at 6:30 p.m.

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