Virginia Tech WBB pushes past Clemson for 71-50 victory Sunday afternoon
Hokies are 5-3 in ACC for first time, head to Syracuse next
*****Freshman Elizabeth Kitley(Northwest Guilford High School) had nine points and eight boards/rebounds and a career-high five blocks on the defensive end. Cayla King, another Virginia Tech freshman from Northwest Guilford High School, had six points and three rebounds for the Hokies…*****
BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech assisted on 17 of their 29 field goals Sunday afternoon, but it was once again a stellar defensive effort that enabled the Hokies to earn the win – their third consecutive and move to 15-4 (5-3) with a 71-50 victory over the Clemson Tigers.
Clemson fell to 7-13 (3-6).
The Hokies, who are off to their best start since going 16-4 in 2016-17, took a nine-point advantage into the locker room before racing out to 20-point lead in the third quarter as five different players made baskets, indicative of the balanced effort.
Tech was led by Taja Cole, who narrowly missed out a double-double with 15 points and nine assists in the game and she was joined in double figures by Aisha Sheppard (12) and Lydia Rivers (10).
Rivers pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end, to register her first career ACC double-double and third overall on the season. She held Clemson’s Kobi Thornton to just 2 of 8 shooting from the floor and helped the Hokies have an advantage in the paint (30-22) and on the glass (50-38).
Tech’s leading scorer Aisha Sheppard got loose for two 3-pointers in the game as did freshman guard Cayla King as well as Dara Mabrey.
With the win, Tech moves to 5-3 in the ACC marking the best 8-game start to the league campaign since joining the conference.
The win was the Hokies’ fourth at home in conference play. It marks the first time that Tech has started the ACC season 4-0 at Cassell Coliseum.
Aisha Sheppard scored in double figures for the 18th time in 19 games this season with her 12 points against the Tigers. She continues to lead the team at 16.6 points per game.
Tech used the same starting lineup for the 11th straight game – Cole, Mabrey, Sheppard, Rivers and Kitley.
Forward Lydia Rivers registered her third double-double of the season.
NEXT TIME ON THE HARDWOOD
•The Hokies will head to Syracuse, New York to take on the Orange at 8 p.m. on ACC Network on Thursday, January 30.
•Last season’s contest was an overtime thriller, with the Orange earning a narrow 75-73 victory despite a 27-point afternoon from Taylor Emery and a double-double from Regan Magarity. Tiana Mangakahia led the Orange with 27 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds.
•All-time in the series, Tech trails 6-7 dating back to the first meeting in 1988.
NEXT TIME ON CARILION CLINIC COURT
•The Hokies are back at Cassell Coliseum on Sunday, February 2 for a 2 p.m. tip against Miami.
•Last season, the Hokies and ‘Canes split the series with each program winning on their home floor. Tech’s 73-65 win over No. 14 Miami on February 11, 2019 snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Hurricanes and was also the first ranked victory for the program in 17 tries.
•Miami leads the all-time series, which dates back to 2001, 21-7.