The Hurricanes didn’t flinch when Virginia Tech freshman guard Chanette Hicks drained a jumper to tie the game with seven seconds left in regulation. The No. 18 Canes took care of business in overtime, beating the Hokies 67-56 after a late rally by Virginia Tech knotted the two teams at 50 at the end of the fourth on Sunday at the BankUnited Center.
With 30 seconds left in regulation, Virginia Tech’s junior forward Sidney Cook drilled a three-point shot to cut Miami’s lead to one. On the ensuing possession, sophomore forward Erykah Davenport missed two free throws, giving the ball back to the Hokies. After Virginia Tech came up empty on its following possession, Davenport returned to the line for two more free throws. This time she went 1-of-2 from the line, putting the Canes up 50-48.
Down by two points, Hicks raced down the court and knocked in a mid-range jumper, tying the game at 50 apiece. The Canes attempted a final buzzer-beater that fell short and the game headed to overtime.
The win comes on the heels of the Canes’ worst loss of the season. Miami lost to No. 3 Notre Dame 90-69 last Sunday.
“We had to earn our own respect back,” Head Coach Katie Meier said about the loss to the Irish.
The squads traded baskets in the early going of overtime with no team taking more than a three-point lead. That changed when junior guard Adrienne Motley hit a three to put the Canes up 57-56, starting a 13-0 Miami run to end the game.
With six minutes left in the half, the Canes were down 22-13 and in danger of letting the game get out of hand. But they responded by going on a 14-2 run to end the half up 27-24. The Hokies shot 1-of-7 during the stretch. The Canes’ run was highlighted by back-to-back triples from redshirt sophomore guard Nigia Greene, which was followed by another three from junior guard Jessica Thomas.
Motley avenged her weak first half showing with five points in the third quarter. Motley was held scoreless in the first half on 0-of-4 shooting, but finished the game with 12 points. Freshman center Emese Hof, who had been struggling to put the ball in the basket recently, led the Canes with 15 points.
“The last couple games, I have not really been myself so I am getting back on it. I think I had to prove something,” Hof said.
Before the game, Assistant Coach Octavia Blue had her number retired. Blue played for the Canes from 1994-98 and totaled more than 1,700 points in her playing career. She joined Meier’s coaching staff in 2012.
The Canes next play Louisville at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the BankUnited Center.