No. RV/24 Syracuse holds off No. 19/21 Hokies, 82-72

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 The No. 19/21 Virginia Tech women’s basketball team looked to rally in the fourth quarter, cutting it to a six-point game, but No. RV/24 Syracuse held on to win it 82-72 on Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

Tech (16-5, 3-5 ACC) had four players in double digits as Sidney Cook led the charge with 22 points on 10-of-15 from the field. Regan Magarity added 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Samantha Hill added 13 points. Chanette Hicks knocked in 13 points, tallied eight assists and six steals.

“Very disappointed,” said head coach Kenny Brooks. “We are not into moral victories where we played a little bit harder today. We still are making some of the mistakes that got us into this situation. We have some issues with our team right now, but we feel like they are correctible issues. There is still a lot of basketball left to play and we need to just get better before we can start talking about being the team we want to be.”

The Hokies trailed the Orange 13-11 with three minutes to go in the first quarter before Syracuse went on a 10-2 run, taking a 23-13 lead. Cook completed the three-point play in the final minute to cut it to 23-16 at the end of the frame. Tech got it down to a four-point, 31-27 game just short of the midway point in the second, but Cuse again answered with a run, outscoring the Hokies 18-5 to close out the half a take a 49-33 advantage into the break.

Syracuse pushed its lead to 18 early in the third quarter, but the Hokies went on a 10-0 run, fueled by five points from Magarity, to cut it to 54-46 with 3:09 to go in the frame. The Orange took a 60-49 lead heading into the final 10 minutes. Cuse again pushed the lead back to 15, but the Hokies chipped away at it and used a 7-0 run to cut it to 71-65 with 2:46 to go. Syracuse outscored the Hokies 11-2, including 8-of-10 from the line, down the stretch until Tech knocked in back-to-back baskets in the final seconds.

Tech connected on 45.2 percent from the field while the Orange shot 50.8 percent. The turnover battle was even as the Hokies forced 17 for 23 points and Cuse forced 16 for 22 points. The Orange held the slight advantage on the boards with 34 rebounds to Tech’s 30, but the Hokies held the 16-15 advantage in second-chance points.

Brittney Sykes led the Orange with 31 points. Alexis Peterson had 22 points and 11 assists while Briana Day tallied 21 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hokies will be back on the court Thursday, Feb. 2 when they host No. 8/9 Notre Dame. Game time is 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

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