Canes Fall to No. 11 Virginia Tech in ACC Tournament Quarterfinals

Canes Fall to No. 11 Virginia Tech in ACC Tournament Quarterfinals

by Christy Cabrera Chirinos

GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the better part of 35 minutes, Miami kept pace with the top seed.

But in the game’s final minutes, Virginia Tech put together a 10-3 run that helped the Hokies take control of what was eventually a 55-47 win over Miami in an ACC Tournament quarterfinal on Friday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.

With the loss, Miami’s run in Greensboro comes to an end and the Hurricanes (19-12) will have to wait until Selection Sunday on March 17th to learn their NCAA Tournament fate.

Jasmyne Roberts had a team-high 12 points for Miami, while Shayeann Day-Wilson finished with 11 points, a number that helped her reach the 1,000-point scoring mark for her career. Day-Wilson also notched two assists, putting her at 300 for her career.

Day-Wilson was one of two Hurricanes to notch a personal milestone in Friday’s game. Jaida Patrick, who finished with three boards, notched the 500th rebound of her career. Ja’Leah Williams, meanwhile, collected a career-high 12 rebounds.

Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore, who finished with a game-high 27 points, paced the 11th-ranked Hokies (24-6).

“There’s a lot of talent on that roster,” Hurricanes head coach Katie Meier said of Virginia Tech. “They’re hard to guard. … But I’m so proud of my team. Holy moly. You saw grit, effort, hustle, resilience, toughness. … We’ve really changed a lot in the last two, three weeks. We’ve really grown up. We’ve really gotten it. …

“We know our identity right now and we can take a team that is very, very good – went to the Final Four last year – and have a chance in the fourth quarter to beat them with grit, even if we’re not hitting. I think we’re a very dangerous team and I don’t think anybody’s going to want to play us in the NCAA Tournament. But there’s no doubt we played our way in.”

Throughout their matchup against the reigning conference champs, the Hurricanes showed the grit Meier noted in her post-game comments.

For much of the first half, Miami and Virginia Tech traded buckets – and the lead, with neither team building a margin of more than six points.

It was a marked difference from the two teams’ previous meeting earlier this year in Blacksburg when the Hokies outscored the Hurricanes 26-10 in the second quarter to take control of a game they’d eventually win 76-52.

In Greensboro, though, it wasn’t until late that Virginia Tech was able to pull away.

Instead, Miami kept pace with the Hokies, opening the second quarter on a 6-2 run that tied the game at 18 after a pair of back-to-back buckets from Roberts.

Virginia Tech, though, answered with a 7-2 run of its own to take a 25-20 lead into the locker room.

It was more of the same for much of the third and fourth quarters, with the Hurricanes even pulling within two points with 7:10 left after a second-chance bucket from Williams.

After that, though, Virginia Tech distanced itself.

The Hokies scored six straight points over the course of 1:36 to build a 45-37 lead with 2:22 left. A 3-pointer from Day-Wilson cut the deficit to 45-40, but Virginia Tech scored four unanswered points and Miami would get no closer after that.

“We’re still confident in our defense and shooting ability,” Roberts said. “We’re going to go back and work on it and get ready for the next step.”