Hokies Win Physical Matchup with Boston College
No. 16 Virginia Tech took its seventh straight win 74-63 in a physical, foul-ridden game against Boston College on Sunday.
The Hokies sold out Cassell Coliseum once again. This marked the third regular-season sellout in VT Women's Basketball history, all three occurring during the 2023-24 season. The crowd buzzed as Virginia Tech entered the court, dawning pink sneakers for "Play 4 Kay Day," supporting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Even BC Head Coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee had something to say about the crowd: "It's so exciting even for an away team to come in as an opponent and play in that atmosphere because it's what all women's basketball players are striving to be a part of. Even though it's not our crowd, it's still a crowd that provides all this electricity."
“It’s great that they come and bring energy,” said Georgia Amoore. “It got really, really loud and that took us over the edge and it truly makes a difference in the game.”
The Hokies had all the confidence in the world coming off another win over NC State earlier in the week, but the Eagles shook things up early. A pair of turnovers for Georgia Amoore, several missed threes, and a 4-0 deficit three minutes in had everyone worried.
Finally, Matilda Ekh did what she does best, hitting a three to end the drought, and VT was on the board. Amoore quickly followed with another, and Tech was on top 6-4 in the first.
Liz Kitley got to work down low soon after, hitting a few of her signature post-fades in the paint. Points were hard to come by, but her seven took the Hokies into the second quarter with a 15-12 lead.
Amoore and Kitley lit up the box score in Q2, combining for 18 of VT's 22. Their shots fell from all over, each hitting 4/5 from the field during the quarter.
While the two stars couldn't miss, the other shooters had difficulty finding the net. Cayla King finished the first half 0/9 from 3PT, and Ekh was 1/5. The looks were there, but nothing would fall, the Hokies leading 37-29 against an Eagles team that was 3-9 in ACC play.
“We need Cayla and we need Matilda to step up and knock down shots. We felt like they got the opportunities that they wanted, and we see them knock those down in their sleep,” said Head Coach Kenny Brooks.
Just like the first quarter, the Hokies put up an identical 15 points coming out of the locker room in the third. The majority came during a back-to-back-to-back stretch of threes, with Amoore, King, and Ekh each hitting a shot on sequential drives. Outside of that, the shooters struggled, with King and Ekh going 0/6 combined during the rest of the third.
Tech led by only six after a 7-1 stretch to end the third in favor of the Eagles. The game showed signs of devolving as fouls got progressively worse, calls were questionable, and the crowd chirped. It was clear that this game was going to get ugly, which culminated in the final quarter.
The Hokies came into the fourth with a layup by none other than Liz Kitley, but BC quickly answered with a three from Kaylah Ivey and a layup from T’yana Todd to cut the lead to a single possession. The teams went back and forth, the Hokies feeding Kitley down low and BC battering her with double-teams.
The fouls hit a climax when Kitley was battered on the offensive end, resulting in a knot on her forehead. She grabbed her head in pain, but stayed on the court, just minutes after blocking a shot from Teya Sidberry. If you don’t think she’s tough after that, have a word with Kenny Brooks.
“It really makes me mad when somebody wants to question her toughness or they say she can’t do this. Try to do what she does,” Brooks said.
The Hokies finished out the game strong and composed, knocking down four free throws, a jump shot, and a three. Another win in a soldout Cassell Coliseum, Virginia Tech taking the cake 74-63.
Amoore led the team in scoring with 26 points. She played all 40 minutes, dishing out four assists with five turnovers. Kitley finished with 24 points despite getting bullied all game. She led the team with 15 rebounds, eight of which were on the offensive end. Olivia Summiel and Clara Strack also played well. Summiel had 11 boards, four on offense, and Strack had seven points and six rebounds during her 14 minutes.
Virginia Tech will host Duke (16-7, 8-4 ACC) on Thursday, before traveling to Louisville (20-5, 9-3 ACC) on February 18th.