The Virginia Tech women's basketball team picked up back to back road ACC wins this week. First, they defeated Pittsburgh 74-58 on Thursday. They followed that up with a 95-86 victory over Boston College on Sunday.
Virginia Tech Beats Pittsburgh 74-58
Last Thursday, both Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh were searching for their first ACC victory. Though the Hokies had been close multiple times, they had fallen short in all seven of their conference games to that point. Similarly, Pittsburgh came close to defeating both Boston College and Clemson, but they also came into this midweek game at 0-7 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech came out firing, and they knocked down 8 three pointer in the first half alone. Much of that production came from freshman Dara Mabrey, who went 5/6 from beyond the arc in the first half. That helped the Hokies take a 48-29 lead into halftime.
Throughout the season, the Hokies have struggled when playing with the lead. However, in this game, they made sure to reconcile that. Virginia Tech outscored Pittsburgh 16-14 in the third quarter to take a 21-point lead into the last frame.
Even though the Hokies scored just 10 points in the fourth quarter, they held the Panthers to 15, and the outcome was never in doubt. Virginia Tech took the 74-58 victory, and Pittsburgh never led in the contest.
Senior guard Taylor Emery led the Hokies with 24 points, while Dara Mabrey was close behind with 22. Regan Magarity also added a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Virginia Tech Beats Boston College 95-86
Next up for the Hokies was a Sunday road trip up to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College. The Eagles were coming off of a thrilling 92-90 victory over Duke in which freshman guard Makayla Dickens hit 7 three-pointers.
Both teams were rolling on offense to begin the game. They combined for 55 points in the first quarter, with Boston College leading 28-27.
In the second quarter, Virginia Tech's hot shooting cooled down a bit. They scored just 14 points in that frame, and Boston College took a 47-41 lead into the half. Still, the Hokies had three scorers already in double figures by halftime (Emery, Mabrey, and Magarity).
The third quarter started out pretty evenly, as both teams scored 12 points in the first four minutes. However, that is when Boston College's offense started heating up significantly. Between the 5:50 and 1:38 marks of the quarter, the Eagles went on a 12-2 run and took a 16-point lead.
The Hokies hit two free throws on back to back possessions, and it looked like they would take a 12-point deficit into the final quarter. However, with just four seconds left in the third, Regan Magarity rebounded a missed Eagles three-pointer and passed it ahead to Dara Mabrey. Mabrey launched from about halfcourt, and the shot found nothing but net as the buzzer sounded.
Virginia Tech used this momentum to their advantage to start the final quarter. They scored six straight points to open the frame and cut the lead to just 3 at 71-68. Then, after the Eagles first bucket of the quarter, Aisha Sheppard took the game over for the Hokies.
Sheppard knocked down 3 pointers on three of Tech's next five possessions, and the Hokies took a one point lead just 5 minutes and seven seconds of game time after they trailed by 16.
After the media timeout, Boston College regained the lead at 75-74. However, Sheppard quickly answered with another
three, and Virginia Tech never lost the lead after that. Boston College attempted to extend the game by fouling in the last minute, but Dara Mabrey knocked down 6 straight free throws in order to solidify the victory.
Finally, Regan Magarity hit two free throws with 9 seconds left, and the Hokies captured the 95-86 victory. Those last two points also gave Magarity her first 30-point game of her career.
“(Magarity) played really hard and really well and I think she is that kind of kid that I call a baller,” said Boston College head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee to the Boston Herald
Along with those 30 points from Magarity, Virginia Tech had three other scorers in double figures. Dara Mabrey had a career-high 26, Aisha Sheppard had 14, and Taylor Emery had 12. After so many heartbreaking losses, it was a welcome sight for the Hokies to be on the winning side of a big comeback.
Weekly ACC Honors Earned By a Pair of Hokies
Two Virginia Tech players earned ACC honors for their performances this week. First, Regan Magarity won ACC women's basketball player of the week
. She combined for 44 points and 33 rebounds in her two double-double performances this week and nearly had a triple-double at Pitt. Her 2 double-double give her 15 overall for the season as one of the ACC's top post players.
In addition, Dara Mabrey won ACC women's basketball freshman of the week
. She shot a combined 67% from the field in the two games this week and scored a total of 48 points. She knocked down 6 three pointers at Pittsburgh and 4 more at Boston College. Mabrey has continued to impress as one of the ACC's most talented freshmen who has a great chance to earn All-ACC Freshman recognition.
With these two wins, Virginia Tech 15-7 overall and 2-7 in ACC play. The Hokies will have a full week off before they take on #2 Louisville at home next Sunday at noon. Virginia Tech will hope to build on the momentum of this 2-game winning streak as they search for their first conference win inside Cassell Coliseum.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
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