The Virginia Tech Hokies opened the 2017 WNIT with a dominant home victory over Rider to advance to the round of 32 to take on Navy with the Hokies having their aim set on making a deep run in their second-straight year in the postseason tournament. The Hokies went down in the round of 32 last year, but that wasn’t going to be the case this time around.
The Hokies beat Navy 75-64 to advance to the round of 16 where they will travel on the road to State College, Pennsylvania to face Penn State on Thursday.
The Hokies have played much more like the team that went undefeated in non-conference during the WNIT though this game was more competitive with Navy being in it for a good amount of the second half. Kenny Brooks has plenty of postseason experience and that along with the Hokies’ experience in last year’s WNIT seems to be helping them take care of business against smaller conference opponents.
The Hokies had issues with protecting the basketball with a poor 22 turnovers but the Hokies also had 7 steals while Virginia Tech went a very good 12-for-22 from three-point range that helped them advance to the next round. The Hokies were also productive at the free-throw line making 17-of-20 free throws while keeping Navy to only 9 free throws.
Sidney Cook was the star of the game with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead the charge for the Hokies. The senior forward suffered a concussion late in the season, but definitely is healthy now and will play a big role in Virginia Tech’s hopes for making a deep run and potentially winning the WNIT.
Chanette Hicks led the Hokies with 18 points, 7 assists, and 5 steals in what was a very good game for the senior point guard outside of the five turnovers that she had in this game. Hicks has become one of the faces of this team and definitely is the type of point guard that you want leading the way to make a push to get to the NCAA Tournament next year.
Sami Hill had a great game with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, and no turnovers while fellow senior Vanessa Panousis had 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. Regan Magarity didn’t have a great game with 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 8 turnovers while Kendyl Brooks did fairly well off the bench with 6 points and 2 steals while Kaela Kinder added 3 rebounds off the bench.
Virginia Tech heads to Penn State with a great chance at making a deep run in the WNIT with VT definitely being a team that can win this tournament with this multi-day break being beneficial for a team that has almost no depth.