Photo Credit: Liam Sment
Virginia Tech extended its winning streak to four games with Thursday night's 75-55 victory over Miami.
The win gives the Hokies their longest winning streak since December 10th and also marks the program’s first win at Miami in the Kenny Brooks era.
“We have a group that’s really locked in together and focused on playing well for each other,” Brooks said after the game. “The chemistry is tremendous. I like where we are. If you’re going to be gelling at a time in the year, this is the time to be gelling and I think that’s what we're going to capitalize on.”
Virginia Tech opened up the game hot, shooting over 47% from the field. That stellar shooting helped the Hokies to a six point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Virginia Tech carried that momentum into the second quarter, out-scoring Miami 21-13. The Hokies were powered by a 10-0 run that included four points from Elizabeth Kitley and threes from Aisha Sheppard and Cayla King. Virginia Tech also played very sound defense, forcing six Miami turnovers in the quarter.
The Hokies finished the first half with only three offensive turnovers and twelve assists, in addition to shooting 45% from the field.
That combination of efficient shooting and protecting the basketball propelled Virginia Tech to a 41-27 lead at halftime. Kitley led the team with 14 points at the break.
Despite finding most of their success in the third quarter for the majority of the season, the Hokies slowed down in the second half. Virginia Tech doubled its first half turnover total in that quarter alone, and allowed Miami to shoot over 47%.
Although the Hokies struggled some in the third quarter, their strong first half helped them maintain a 12-point lead heading into the final quarter.
Virginia Tech made some adjustments in the fourth quarter and the team picked up where it left off from the first half. The Hokies were fueled by a 13-0 run to begin the quarter led by nine points from Aisha Sheppard. That run helped Virginia Tech outscore Miami by eight points in the quarter.
The Hokies also locked in defensively, holding the Hurricanes to only nine points in the final ten minutes.
“A big emphasis for us the past couple of wins has been defense,” said Georgia Amoore. “When we can limit other teams from scoring we can really capitalize on that.”
Sheppard and Kitley led Virginia Tech with 19 points each, while Destiny Harden led Miami with 20. Kitley earned her 12th double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.
The Hokies’ next game comes when the team hosts the Syracuse Orange on February 21st at 12 p.m.