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No. 17 Virginia Tech Conquers the Cavaliers

By Kyle Beene | February 01
No. 17 Virginia Tech Conquers the Cavaliers
Georgia Amoore fades to get a shot over UVA's Sam Brunelle

No. 17 Virginia Tech took down rival UVA 76-63 in another edition of the Commonwealth Clash.

The Hokies flooded the stands Thursday night, selling out Cassell Coliseum for the second time in the 2023-24 season. Nearly 9,000 attended to see the Hokies face off with the Cavaliers, it was sure to be an entertaining game.

“We stop and we smell the roses. We’re going to enjoy every day, every game,” said Head Coach Kenny Brooks. “It warms my heart when they announce a sellout crowd,” he continued. “I was using hand gestures today to call plays, I’ve never done that before. They couldn’t hear me. It’s a really fun environment for them to be able to participate.”

Following a poor performance against Syracuse, Liz Kitley was a beast. Right from the start, she put on a show for her sister Raven’s birthday. The Hokies’ star center had 10 points in each of the first two quarters, propelling the team to a narrow 46-41 lead at the half.

“Syracuse, it’s probably the worst game I’ve ever seen her play,” said Brooks. “She just had one of those nights. I sent her a clip where Steph Curry went 2-13 and 0-8 and the next game he came out, and he was Steph Curry. It happens to the best of you.”

The Cavaliers’ Kymora Johnson was the main factor in keeping them in the thick of it. Her 12 first-quarter points led the team, no other UVA player over two. She nailed a pair of threes, in addition to a few shots to keep the poor-shooting UVA offense in reach. They shot just 37% in the opening quarter.

“The first half for us was good. They had their runs, we had ours, but we fought in the first and fourth,” said UVA Coach Amake Agugua-Hamilton.

The Hokies busted out of the locker room with fury on both ends. Georgia Amoore and Kitley continued to drop bucket after bucket, while UVA couldn’t do a thing. Shooting just 2-14 from the field with four turnovers, the Cavaliers' efforts amounted to just five points on the scoreboard.

The iconic “third-quarter blitz” was performed to perfection. The Hokies’ 17 points combined with the roaring crowd of a packed Cassell led to an energy like no other. The players were just as hungry on the defensive side as well, racking up five blocks in the 10-minute span.

“We shied away from contact a little bit. We left a lot of layups on the board,” said Agugua-Hamilton.

Tech slowed up some in the fourth, but UVA could only shave four points off the lead. The Hokies confidence and swagger perfectly summed up by Amoore’s no-look assist to Kitley in the lane.

Kitley dominated with 33 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks!!!! Amoore also had a double-double, finishing with 20 points and 14 assists. The pair took over, but not without the help of Matilda Ekh, who once again notched a solid 13-point game with a trio of treys. Ekh also had a block and two steals on the defensive end.

“When you write your articles, please, please put some exclamation points in there. Just don’t get bored with a 33 and 18 performance. Let that sink it, 33 points and 18 rebounds,” said Brooks.

Virginia Tech will head to Chapel Hill to battle No. 24 UNC (15-6, 6-2 ACC) on Sunday, hoping to keep the four-game win streak alive with another W on the road.

Kyle Beene

Senior at Virginia Tech writing for the Sons on everything VT. I primarily cover football, basketball, and softball. There are big things on the way this year, so get ready for some great content on a weekly basis.

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