Hokies Win Third Straight Ranked Game in a Row, Rout No. 9 Duke
Following a huge win against No. 19 Florida State in which the Hokies dominated and never looked back, No. 11 Virginia Tech (21-4, 11-4 ACC) defeated No. 9 Duke (22-4, 12-3 ACC) by a final score of 61-45. This win marks their third straight win against a ranked opponent and their fourth ranked win of the season.
Looking back to the last matchup between these two teams in late January of this year, the two stars for Virginia Tech in Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amoore had a rough outing.
Kitley and Amoore struggled more than they had all season, combining for 3-21 and falling to then-No. 16 Duke 66-55.
Flashback to tonight, when they flipped the script on the Blue Devils, scoring a combined 40 points on 16-36 (44%) from the field.
"They were ready for this game the day after we played that game," Coach Brooks said.
Duke started the scoring in this game with a bucket from Celeste Taylor 16 seconds into this marquee matchup. This would be the only lead that this top-10 Duke team would hold the entire game. From that moment on, it was all Hokies, as they cruised throughout the whole game and didn’t look back.
Kitley and the Hokies pounced on the Blue Devils, outscoring them 23-11 in the first quarter, similar to how they performed in the first quarter their last time out against Florida State. Kitley had a quick 11 in the first after only scoring four in her previous matchup against Duke.
"This group is very, very smart, and they have the ability to take away opposing teams' offenses because they know them," Brooks said on the team's recent success in starting games. "We're a little bit more physical, we're not jumping and gambling because we know what they're going to do; we're playing basketball and we're limited to them, and we're getting out there and being physical."
"As far as your offense is concerned, we're starting to really understand each other and we understand what we need to do. It’s very common for us to make an extra pass so we can get a great shot instead of a good shot."
The Hokies continued their dominance in the second quarter, holding their opponent to only one made field goal and three points total in the quarter. The duo of Kayana Traylor and Cayla King did a great job to help limit Duke guards like Shayeann Day-Wilson and Reigan Richardson to five combined points.
By halftime, the Hokies led big 33-14, and they held strong all the way through the game.
With only three games remaining in the regular season, it might seem like this team has championship aspirations after they triumphed over arguably the hardest part of their schedule, but Coach Brooks wants to take it one game at a time.
"The great thing with this group is that there is a bigger picture, but we aren't looking forward right now," Brooks stated. "They're focused on one game at a time, and we lost to them last time to get their attention (Duke) today."
Next up on the schedule, Virginia Tech will face off against NC State for the second time this Sunday in Cassell Coliseum as they look to make it six wins in a row.