The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team routed the Missouri Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship 82-51. The game was held in University Park, Pennsylvania on the campus of Penn State. The Lady Hokies improve to 21-9 on the season with the win, and will face the winner of the UConn-Coppin State game on Tuesday.
Virginia Tech, a #7 seed, held the advantage over the #10 seed Tigers from the opening tip. Tech got a well-balanced effort from their entire team. Five Hokies scored in double figures, and all but one Tech player who saw playing time scored. Kerri Gardin was the most dominant player on the court. The third-team All-ACC player scored 17 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out six assists in 34 minutes of action.
Dawn Chriss led the Hokies in scoring with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting. She also had seven rebounds. Nare Diawara had 12 points off the bench, while Carrie Mason and Kirby Copeland each scored 10 points. Tech shot 51.5% from the field and held Missouri to just 31%. They also forced the Tigers into 21 turnovers, while committing just 10.
The Hokies jumped on the Tigers early and extended their lead to as many as 15 points in the first half. Missouri made a run to end the first half, cutting the deficit to seven points at halftime. Virginia Tech led 32-25 heading into the intermission.
The game was in reach for Missouri until the Hokies embarked on a 19-0 run beginning at the 9:57 mark of the second half. Tech led 52-43 at the beginning of the run, and after Nare Diawara hit a layup with 4:45 remaining, they led 71-43. The Hokies led by as many as 32 points the rest of the way and coasted to a 31 point victory.