Down 65-52 with 1:54 to go in the third quarter, and struggling to close the gap, Virginia Tech’s women’s basketball team looked dead in the water against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament.
But then the 9-seed Hokies blew up on the 8-seed Orange, ending the game with a 33-5 run to sprint past Syracuse, winning by the final score of 85-70.
Virginia Tech started the run with 21 straight points, and Syracuse went completely cold from the field, missing every shot they took in the last 11:54 of the game. Syracuse shot 7-33 (21.2 percent) in the second half, including 18 straight misses at the end of the game. The Orange went 0-16 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the Hokies blistered the nets for 60.7 percent shooting in the second half, including 8-11 (72.7 percent) in the pivotal fourth quarter, in which Virginia Tech outscored Syracuse 29-5.
Virginia Tech was led by Taylor Emery, who poured in a game-high 28 points on 11-20 shooting. Emery made 2-4 from outside and hit all four of her free throws. Freshman Aisha Sheppard scored 19, including five three-pointers. Regan Magarity pulled down 13 rebounds, and Emery added 9.
Coming into the game, the two teams were on different arcs. Syracuse had won five in a row, while the Hokies had lost four of five. Virginia Tech has been struggling to adjust and figure out their roles since point guard Chanette Hicks left the team seven games ago, for personal reasons. Ironically, Hicks’ last game was a road win over Syracuse back on February 1.
The comeback win is the good news for Virginia Tech (18-12, 6-10 ACC regular season). The bad news is that the Hokies now advance to play 1-seed Louisville, who defeated Virginia Tech 67-56 back on January 8 in Louisville. The game will be at 2 PM on Friday, March 2, and will be televised on the Regional Sports Network (RSN). Check your listings for the game broadcast.