Virginia Tech struggled offensively from start to finish in a 82-54 loss to No. 7 Florida State inside Cassell Coliseum on Sunday.
The loss is Virginia Tech’s third in four games. All three of the losses have come to ranked teams — the Hokies lost to No. 14 Miami on Jan. 11 and lost to No. 15 Duke on Thursday.
“For the second game in a row, I just felt like we really lost our composure, what we were trying to get accomplished,” said Head Coach Kenny Brooks. “I was disappointed in the way we competed.”
Florida State put the Hokies on lockdown throughout the game. Virginia Tech shot 38 percent from the field and committed 28 turnovers.
“They’re great penetrators and they can all shoot,” said Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau. “We knew our help, our team defense had to be really solid. We switched out on them a lot and I think they were expecting a hard hedge, then sometimes we could go back to the hedge, hopefully to keep them off balance. That’s really where we pride ourselves, is defensively.”
“They switched a lot and they’re tremendously athletic in a lot of different areas,” Brooks said. “They’re extremely smart. Even if you have a mismatch, it’s going to be hard to exploit it because they help each other. They swarmed the ball.”
The Seminoles offense struggled for the first half as well, but kicked into gear in the third quarter. Florida State shot 12-16 in the third quarter and shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half.
Three Hokies finished in double figures. Chanette Hicks led Virginia Tech in scoring with 18 points, while Sidney Cook added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Regan Magarity also finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, her seventh-straight double-double. That is the longest streak in program history.
The Hokies started the game missing shot after shot, while turning the ball over plenty of times in between. Virginia Tech shot just 8-26 from the floor in the first half, committing 16 turnovers. The Hokies were 1-8 from behind the arc and could never get out in transition for easy baskets.
“I thought they sped us up,” Hicks said. “They’re a really fast team… We came out slow and you can’t come out slow to a top-10 team because they capitalize on that. I felt like they were rushing us and we just let them.”
The Seminoles weren’t much better, but Florida State took a 33-22 lead into halftime. They shot slightly better from the field, connecting on 35 percent of their attempts.
“I think we were positive going into halftime,” Magarity said. “We knew we made mistakes. They got some offensive rebounds and some fast break points. We just weren’t able to bring it over to the second half. We had some turnovers in the fourth quarter and that kind of kept them going.”
Florida State pulled away in the third quarter. A 17-4 run to kick off the second half buried the Hokies, putting the Seminoles up 50-26 with 4:46 left in the third quarter. Florida State shot 12-16 in the third quarter and led Virginia Tech 60-36 entering the fourth. The Hokies would cut the lead to 19 midway through the final period but could never close the gap.
“I thought some our kids hung their heads when things didn’t go their way early on, and it affected the way we played for the rest of the game,” Brooks said. “We’re not very deep and we’re still not getting that energy we need off the bench.”
Virginia Tech will get a bit of a reprieve on the schedule with two unranked opponents before hosting No. 6 Notre Dame. Tech will travel to play Virginia on Thursday and then host Syracuse next Sunday.