Virginia Tech women’s basketball cruised to a 89-66 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday, giving the Hokies their second ACC win of the season.
“Any time you can get a win, a 23-point win, in the ACC, you have to be satisfied,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “It was good, it was needed. I thought our kids did a really good job coming out from the start to finish, and playing good basketball. We kind of fed off of our second half vs. Louisville, and the attitude and the effort kind of carried over, and it propelled us to this win.”
Taylor Emery led the way with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, while Regan Magarity added 21 points and eight rebounds. Rachel Camp added 12 points, while Alexis Jean scored 11.
Virginia Tech jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Emery scored 16 of her 22 points in the first period, and led the Hokies to a 33-20 lead heading into the second quarter.
“I just came out with my head ready to go,” Emery said. “My team looks for me a lot. In the first quarter, they looked for me a lot and I knocked it down for them.”
Tech led 53-31 after the first half, and maintained that lead for the rest of the night.
Chanette Hicks came off the bench for the Hokies, her first time not in the starting lineup since Feb. 5, 2017 vs. Georgia Tech. Hicks struggled vs. Louisville on Jan. 8, scoring just six points and committing five turnovers. On Thursday, Brooks said Hicks wasn’t benched for her performance vs. the Cardinals, but that she was removed from the starting lineup because she lost “focus.” Hicks finished the night with 12 points and nine assists in 25 minutes.
“You know what — to be very honest and to have full disclosure, Chanette just lost a little bit of focus,” Brooks said. “We’re trying to build a program here. We’re trying to build a program, and the program is going to consist of accountability, and everyone’s included. I thought she lost a little bit of focus, and we’re just going to go with the people at the moment who we feel like is going to give us that focus.”
Virginia Tech is now 13-4 on the season, and 2-2 in the conference. The Hokies face a big challenge in their next game, as they’ll head to Tallahassee to face No. 13 Florida State. The Seminoles are 14-2 this season, with ACC wins over North Carolina and Syracuse. After the trip to Florida State, the Hokies will return home to host No. 16 Duke.
“We’re taking them one at a time,” Brooks said. “I promise you, that is not ‘coach talk.’ I knew we played Florida State on Monday, I didn’t know who we played on Thursday. Not until the team told me. But I’m really locked in. I have to be focused on what’s going on. If I’m looking down the road, it’s not good because you can’t overlook anyone.”