SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Virginia Tech held a lead late, but was unable to hang on as Syracuse mounted a furious comeback to earn a 67-65 victory at the Carrier Dome Thursday evening. Virginia Tech falls to 15-5 (5-4) on the season at the halfway point through the ACC slate and will head home to face Miami on Sunday afternoon. Tech was balanced all night long, with freshman center Elizabeth Kitley, leading the team with 10 points and a host of teammates following closely behind – Taja Cole, Dara Mabrey, and Aisha Sheppard all had nine.
In the first half, Tech saw 21 points poured in off the bench, including eight points on 4-4 shooting from center Alex Obouh-Fegue, Trinity Baptiste had seven and Cayla King knocked down a couple of 3-point field goals. On the night, Cole was the catalyst, tallying a near triple-double and facilitating the offense. Syracuse snapped a two-game skid and improved to 10-10 (4-5). The Orange was led by guard Kiara Lewis, the team’s leading scorer who turned in a game-high 19 points on 19 shots. She was backed up by Amaya Finklea-Guity who added 13.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Tech got 21 points off the bench, all in the first half of play.
- The Hokies owned the glass all night with a 50-36 advantage.
- The Orange took advantage of their free throw opportunities where they had 16 shots and the Hokies took just five.
- Syracuse had the advantage on the paint 40-32.
- Tech turned it over 17 times while the Orange did just seven times.
- Aisha Sheppard was held in single digits for just the second time in 20 games this season with her nine points against the Orange. She continues to lead the team at 16.2 points per game.
- Sheppard has hit a 3-pointer in 27 consecutive games, dating back to January 29, 2019, a school record.
- Tech used the same starting lineup for the 12th straight game – Cole, Mabrey, Sheppard, Rivers and Kitley.
- Point guard Taja Cole narrowly missed out on a triple double in the game, which would have been the program’s first, and was even closer to her second double-double of the season with her final stat line – nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
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.