Virginia Tech women’s basketball cruised to an easy 98-51 victory over Bowling Green on Sunday, pushing the Hokies to 10-0 this season.
“I’m continuing to watch these kids grow and morph into this team that I really like,” said Head Coach Kenny Brooks.
The No. 25 Hokies dominated the game through the final three quarters. Virginia Tech outscored Bowling Green 80-31 after the first quarter. The Hokies shot 57 percent in the final three periods and held Bowling Green to 28 percent shooting overall.
“I think in the second quarter, we really dug in and we were the aggressor,” Brooks said. “We went out and we dictated the tempo and what they were trying to do or what we were trying to do.”
Virginia Tech had six players in double figures, while Bowling Green had zero. Samantha Hill finished with 21 points on 6-12 shooting, including five threes. Chanette Hicks stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 17 points and registering six assists, five steals and three rebounds. Vanessa Panousis scored 13 points while Sidney Cook (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Regan Magarity (13 points and 12 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles.
“It’s been a while since I had a team that can do that,” Brooks said. “It gives you so many different options. You don’t really have to try and force the ball into a certain area.”
Hill’s 21 points are a career high. It’s been a great offensive season for Hill, who’s averaging career highs in points per game, three-point percentage and assists per game.
“I think a lot of it comes from confidence,” Hill said. “If I miss a shot, the coaches just tell me to keep shooting. I try not to get down on myself and I think that helps a lot.”
After the game, Brooks was pleased with his team’s defense. The Hokies forced 14 turnovers and held Bowling Green to just 4-22 from three.
“In a one-on-one contest, I don’t know how many of our kids would win but as a team, they’re playing for each other,” Brooks said. “They understand what we’re trying to do, that philosophy of, ‘Hey, let’s pressure here in the halfcourt set and I know I’m going to have help if I get beat. They’re starting to trust each other.”
The players said that their defense fueled their second quarter outburst, which turned into a game-long nightmare for Bowling Green.
“We don’t like being scored on,” Hill said. “They came out in the first quarter and our defense wasn’t very good. They got any shot they wanted and they were hitting them too.”
Virginia Tech couldn’t ask to be in a better place at the moment. Tech is outscoring their opponents by 20.1 points per game and has exceeded expectations for Brooks’ first year at the helm. Things seem different around the team compared to a season ago. Despite their flaws or lack of depth, the Hokies can’t be taken lightly this season.
“I like how everybody scores,” Hicks said. “It’s not just two or three people that’s getting like 30-some points, it’s throughout the whole team. If you’re open, shoot the ball or go to the basket.”
The Hokies will face their biggest test on the road this season next Sunday, when Virginia Tech travels to Auburn. The Tigers are 7-2 this season and will be the Hokies’ final Power 5 foe until ACC play begins.
This week is also final exam week for students. Brooks said that the players will take it easy on Monday and Tuesday but once finals are done, he’s looking forward to implementing new plays and concepts.
“It’s a strenuous week and we understand that,” Brooks said. “We went them to be clear-minded, finish out their exams and then have a four-week break where they know they’ve given everything to their academics.”