Hokies found good offensive rhythm Thursday night in 23-point win over Pitt

2017-18 Virginia Tech Women's Basketball Ticket Information
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BLACKSBURG – Behind Taylor Emery’s 16 first quarter points, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team jumped out to a big lead which it never surrendered as it earned its second ACC victory of the season Thursday night. The win takes the Hokies’ record to 13-4, 2-2 in the league ahead of its matchup with No. 13 Florida State on Sunday, Jan. 14.

“I was proud of them,” Tech head coach Kenny Brooks said of his players after the game. “Overall, I thought we did a really good job playing together. Came out lots of energy, we were focused. Didn’t know what to expect in the beginning, just because we shuffled some things up a little bit but everyone came out with good energy.

“We simplified things a little bit and as a result we executed on the offensive end, and came up with some stops on the defensive end. It was really good, our team needed it we played well together and this is something that we can build on.”

The Hokies shot a sizzling 64.5 percent from the field in the first half, which included eight made 3-pointers. Emery went into the halftime locker room 6 of 6 with 18 points in 14 minutes.

Four other Hokies ended the night in double figures, with Regan Magarity tallying 21, Rachel Camp and Chanette Hicks each adding 12 and Alexis Jean, in the starting lineup for the first time since November scored 11 points.

Tech owned a 40-29 advantage on the boards.

Pitt shot 40.7 percent from the field, while committing 19 turnovers. Yacine Diop led the Panthers (8-9, 0-5) with 23 points.

Rachel Camp starts at the point guard position – Kenny Brooks used his fifth different starting lineup of the season against Pitt, opting for redshirt-junior Rachel Camp to handle point guard duties. Camp acquitted herself well, scoring 12 points, grabbing three rebounds and providing three assists. She also had a game-high four steals on the defensive end.

“Obviously making her play a different position, she did a great job all throughout the game,” Brooks said. “She actually played the one, the two, the three and the four today and she did a really good job, never batted an eye. She wasn’t always perfect but she had perfect intent. When you have that, that’s all you can ask for. Really proud of what she did. The biggest thing that she did was she really got us under control.”

Emery’s eighth 20-point game paces Hokies – Junior guard Taylor Emery came out of the gate Thursday firing on all cylinders, knocking down four 3-pointers in the opening frame and helping Tech to a 33-20 advantage.

“She made some opportunities, especially in the first quarter and she really got going. We’re an equal opportunity team because anyone can get hot on a given night. It happened to be Taylor tonight and we told her to keep being aggressive. The beauty of it is when she got hot in that first quarter now, Pitt’s attention is really on her and it opened up some things for other people”

Emery leads the Hokies at 15.9 points per game.

Big picture - “We’re getting kids back healthy, my rotation is plentiful,” Brooks said. “I have options now and that’s something that we haven’t had throughout the season. Everyone is doing their part and you just have to realize that whether it’s a small part or a big part everyone’s part is very important and I think they are starting to understand that.”

Notable figures
• The Hokies have scored 80-plus points twice in the first four league games this season. They recorded two games of 80 or more points in 2016-17.
• Tech was a perfect 15 of 15 from the free throw line Thursday night, which tied the program record for most attempts without a miss in a single game. On the season, the Hokies are shooting 73.6 percent from the line, and have been firing at an 80.7 percent clip its past four games.
• The 33 first quarter points and 53 first half points were the most in program history for an ACC game. Tech had previously set the program record for points scored in a quarter against Maryland Eastern Shore earlier in the 2017-18 season with 39.

Up next: The Hokies are on the road against nationally ranked Florida State on Sunday, Jan. 14. Tip is set for 2:30 p.m. and coverage is available through regional sports networks.

Next time at home: The Hokies are back on Carilion Clinic Court on Thursday, Jan. 18 when they take on ACC foe Duke. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

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