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Hokies Cook perfect recipe to batter Virginia

What a game to be played competitive for the first 30 minutes. The final 10 minutes was all Virginia Tech as the Hokies outscored the Cavaliers, 21-8 to get a well cushioned win.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Virginia Tech at Virginia is not just any game. It is part of what is known as the Commonwealth Clash, a points-based competition between all sports for the in-state rivals.

Both teams were coming off of tough losses: Virginia to Duke and Virginia Tech to Georgia Tech.

The first couple minutes were slow for both teams, but once things picked up, they did not slow down. Points were being scored evenly on both sides, making it eight a piece.

Sidney Cook scored a three-pointer, giving the Hokies a slight lead. However, Lauren Moses responded with a quick two points for the Cavaliers, closing the lead to one.

Virginia Tech’s offense was flowing nicely. They started to build upon their lead until Virginia’s Breyana Mason got a three to make the score 16-15 and once again trail by only one. By the end of first quarter, the Hokies had an 18-15 lead.

Virginia Tech really started to take off at the beginning of the second. The aggression between the two teams increased as well. A little more than halfway through the quarter, Hannah Young made a three-pointer for the Hokies, making it 25-19.

Not too much later, there was a questionable missed foul call on a  thee point shot by Virginia’s, Mikayla Venson that brought the crowd to their feet in anger. This was the spark that the Cavaliers needed, and their comeback began. They went on a 7-3 run, including a Venson lay-up to close the half, stunting the Hokies’ lead to just two at, 28-26.

Cook stood out for Virginia Tech in the first half with 12 points, six rebounds, one block and 2-2 on free throws. Mason was the girl for Virginia with 10 points, going 5-6 on free throws.

The second half started with a foul by Taijah Campbell, resulting in two free throws made by Moses and a tie game.

The Hokies were determined not to lose that lead for long, though. In the next four minutes, Cook and Chanette Hicks scored a combined 10 points. For the Cavaliers, the only points scored in that time period was a lay-up by Moses.

With just over five minutes left in the third, Virginia Tech had a 38-30 lead. Teams then traded a pair of free throws by Sydney Umeri and Campbell. Young then drained a three to increase their lead to 11.

After two more points by Campbell, the Cavaliers scored six unanswered points to enter the fourth quarter down by just seven.

Virginia then opened the quarter with a quick jump shot by Mason to make it 45-40.

With nearly eight minutes left in the game, Moses left the court with an apparent injury, but fortunately for Virginia, returned to the game less than two minutes later.

Virginia Tech’s offense was still too much for the Cavaliers to stop. Multiple lay-ups and a three-pointer later, the Hokies were up 57-42 with 5:31 remaining in the game.

After a scoreless period of nearly two-and-a-half minutes, Virginia Tech broke the drought and went on a 9-2 run. Venson made a late jumper, but it was too late to make a difference. Virginia Tech gets the impressive 66-46 win.

Cook continued to shine until the very end, finishing with 23 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and 7-8 on free throws in 38 minutes of play. The Hokies were able to hold Venson to just eight points, but Mason and Moses scored 14 and 13, respectively, with seven  rebounds each. Perhaps the biggest difference of the game was Virginia shooting 28 percent, compared to Virginia Tech shooting nearly 43 percent.

"We’ve been in a tough stretch," said Virginia Teach Head Coach Dennis Wolff. "We were in a bad snowball rolling down the hill, and we stopped the snowball. Sid got us into a good spot offensively right away. When Virginia Tech can beat Virginia, it’s a good thing for us."

For Virginia, this snapped an 18-game winning streak against the Hokies and adds their current losing streak to five.

"It’s obvious we’re struggling," said Virginia Head Coach Joanne Boyle. "Some mental and physical fatigue is setting in. We had little spurts, but not enough to sustain it. We weren’t finishing well. We have to find that balance of what’s working and what’s not working."