Blacksburg, VA — The Virginia Tech Hokies faced the No. 15 Duke Blue Devils tonight at Cassel Coliseum. Virginia Tech came out of the gates full force ready to fight. However, by the end of the game, the Blue Devils had outhustled them to take home the win, 86-75.
“I am very proud of my team fighting against the very hard Virginia Tech team. We really were concerned they had some excellent plays,” said Duke’s head coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie after the win.
Taylor Emery was a force to be reckoned with in the first half as she exploded for 17 before intermission to lead Virginia Tech in scoring. Yet, on the opposing end, Haley Gorecki was Duke’s leading scorer with 10 points at the half.
With both guards refusing to let its opponent pull away, the Hokies and Blue Devils entered halftime tied at 37 points apiece.
Refreshed from a halftime break, Duke came out in the third with fire in their eyes as the went on an offensive tear. By the conclusion of the stanza, the Blue Devils had outscored the Hokies 31-18 to enter the final period up 68-55.
Virginia Tech’s defense was better in the last quarter as they held Duke to 18 points while scoring 20 themselves, but it wouldn’t be enough to keep up as the Hokies couldn’t pull off the upset over the No. 15 Blue Devils and lost, 86-75.
Emery gave it her all as she put on a shooting clinic for Virginia Tech knocking down six of her eight triples as she scored a game-high 30 points. She also contributed seven rebounds and two assists — it wasn’t enough.
Gorecki was even more of a handful in the second as she too was hot from deep. She shot a blistering 70% from beyond the three-point line (7-for-10), dished out three assists and pulled down six rebounds as she tallied a team-high 28-points — a new career high.
Lexie Brown wasn’t too far behind her teammate as she contributed 23 points in the win which was monumental as she became the Blue Devils’ second-fastest player to reach 1,000 points (53 games).
Duke now will head to Chapel Hill to play UNC on Sunday while Virginia Tech makes their way to Charlottesville to battle rivals, Virginia.