Virginia Tech women’s basketball mounted a second-half comeback vs. Miami on Sunday, but couldn’t finish the deal as the ‘Canes escaped Blacksburg with an 82-78 win.
“It’s disappointing. We dug ourselves such a huge hole,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “I just thought that the first half was so unconventional with the fouls, the foul trouble, Alexis Jean getting her nose broken, and just trying to make due. I just wanted to get to the locker room.”
The Hokies’ rally wasn’t enough to overcome the 17-point deficit they faced at halftime. Virginia Tech was able to cut Miami’s lead to just two with 35 seconds left to play, and forced an immediate turnover to give themselves a chance to tie or take the lead. Instead, a miscommunication led to a turnover by Regan Magarity, virtually ending Tech’s comeback attempt.
“Yeah, it’s not Regan’s turnover,” Brooks said. “It wasn’t her fault at all. It wasn’t where the ball was supposed to go. The ball was supposed to go a different way, and I don’t think Regan was expecting it. It was actually supposed to go to Rachel, and it didn’t.”
“It wasn’t really that play that made us lose the game,” said Taylor Emery. “We were down like 17 at the half, and we talked about it in the locker room, it wasn’t just the end of the game. We came back, yeah, but it wasn’t the end of the game why we lost. We lost because we lost it in the first half.”
Magarity battled foul trouble for most of the first half, leading to Tech’s lackluster defense in the second quarter. She picked up her third foul with 2:48 left in the first half, and exited the game. With Michelle Berry also in foul trouble and Alexis Jean nursing a broken nose, Tech was forced to play guard Kaela Kinder in the post. Miami forward Erykah Davenport took advantage of Tech’s lack of size, and scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half. The ‘Canes ended the first half on a 15-2 run, and led 47-30 at halftime.
Virginia Tech outscored Miami by 13 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. Magarity finished the game with 17 points and nine rebounds, but was credited with five turnovers. Rachel Camp scored a game-high 25 points on 9-15 shooting, while Taylor Emery and Chanette Hicks added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Despite the loss, Magarity did make history on Sunday, becoming the 26th player in program history to score 1,000 career points. Magarity, a redshirt junior, hit a three-pointer with 2:12 remaining to reach the milestone.
The Hokies’ loss drops them to 14-8 overall and 3-6 in the ACC. Virginia Tech now will play their next two games on the road, against Syracuse on Feb. 1 and North Carolina on Feb. 7. The Hokies will return to Cassell Coliseum on Feb. 11 to host Virginia at 2 p.m.