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No. 11 Virginia Tech Stands their Ground, Finishes Off Miami 55-47

By Zachary Ozmon | March 08
Screenshot 2024 03 08 at 5 26 15 PM
Georgia Amoore balled out with 27 points, and carried her team to the victory. (Will Trent)

The postseason is indeed upon us, and we all know how the saying goes: "Survive and advance."

Well, that is exactly what No. 11 Virginia Tech (24-6, 14-4 ACC) had in mind as they took down Miami (19-12, 8-10 ACC) Friday afternoon inside Greensboro Coliseum by a thrilling score of 55-47.

With no Elizabeth Kitley in this matchup for the top-seeded Hokies, as well as for the remainder of the tournament, which was announced today, Virginia Tech still has a lot of work to do but can still appreciate the win they pulled out today and what they have accomplished as a team.

“In March, at this time of the year, it's about surviving and advancing,” said Kenny Brooks. “We did that. Because of the resiliency, the way they went out, our kids didn't play great, and we obviously know that we can play better, but they couldn't have played harder. That's something that I really value as a coach."

In a game where the Hokies shot 5-of-26 (19.2%), were missing Kitley, and were playing on a neutral site, the game was nothing special, but a win is still a win no matter how it shapes out.

“It's not always going to be perfect,” said Kenny Brooks. “But if you have perfect intent then we can deal with that.”

With tons of pressure surrounding the previous ACC tournament champs and the reigning ACC regular season champs, graduate guard Cayla King understood that it may not be such a bad thing.

“I think we've said it a lot, pressure is a privilege, and with that, we take it serious,” said Cayla King. “We know it's going to be a tough task, but we also know we've earned it and we deserve it. That's how we have to play.”

The pressure sure was bubbling up for the Hokies as they only led by two points with 4:26 remaining in the game, but Georgia Amoore really came to the rescue in the closing minutes and especially in the entire second half, scoring 23 of her 27 points in it.

“Obviously Kitley is not here with us at the moment, but we're very comfortable with Georgia and what she does,” said Kenny Brooks.

“When you have that kind of relationship with a kid, I know what she can do. I know what she's capable of, and I pretty much know what she's going to do in the moment. I'm very fortunate in having that. We have every bit of confidence that she can take us to where we want to go, and she's shown it.”

Amoore was truly the star of the show, but that's not to say that no one else contributed. With Kitley out, freshman center Clara Strack played a great game and did pretty much everything that was expected of her, plus more, finishing the contest with 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting as well as adding five rebounds and two blocks.

The minutes played not only by Strack but also by the other freshman, Carleigh Wenzel and Carys Baker, were something that may be surprising to other coaches and teams, but for Kenny Brooks, they are a staple of his team.

"I noticed one time we were in a time-out, and I looked and I'm like, damn, I got three of them in at the same time,” said Kenny Brooks. “You look back on it, we only had two players on the floor at any point in time who played in the ACC Tournament last year. And everyone else, they were watching it last year.

“I'm very proud of the way that they came out, they stepped up, they knew they had to. We challenged them this week because they needed to be productive for us, but they're going to be good. They really are.”

With their win this afternoon, Virginia Tech moves on to face No. 14 Notre Dame in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament at 12:00 p.m.

The Irish are not an easy task in the slightest, and they really had the Hokies number in their previous matchup on February 29, where Notre Dame handily won 71-58. Without Kitley once again, Virginia Tech sure has a tall order that they look to fill tomorrow.

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Born in Chesapeake and raised into a family of hokies, Virginia Tech is where I call home now. Attended New River Community College as a freshman and now a sophomore at VT as a transfer student in Fall 2022. Majoring in Sports Media and Analytics, I’m excited for what’s to come for me as a student at VT.

Virginia Tech sports has always been something I have been a fan of. From afternoons in Lane Stadium to nights in Cassell Coliseum, I have loved every second of it no matter the outcome.

One of my first memories of being a Tech fan was our upset win against Ohio State 35-21 where CB Donovan Riley had the game sealing pick-6. More recently, beating UNC in 6 overtimes, our run to the sweet 16, and of course winning the men’s basketball ACC Championship with upsets over UNC and Duke.

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