Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball Weekly Preview
No. 9 Virginia Tech vs. No. 7 LSU | Thursday, November 30, 9:00 p.m. | Baton Rouge, LA
VT and LSU will battle once again in a Final Four rematch. Last year, LSU won 79-72 to advance to the NCAA title game, where they defeated Iowa. The Hokies led by as much as 12, but LSU’s 15-point run in the fourth quarter sealed the deal. VT battled back some in the final minutes, but there wasn’t enough time to overcome the Tigers.
The Tigers have a very talented team, including superstar Angel Reese who averaged 23 points last year. If 23 points wasn’t enough, she earned First Team All-American and SEC All-Defensive Team honors last year and the Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Interestingly, Reese hasn’t played in four games for unknown reasons, and Kateri Poole has been out for the last three. There’s talk about locker room issues, but it’s only speculation.
If Reese and Poole don’t play, it’s a huge hit for LSU. Aneesah Morrow, Mikaylah Williams, Hailey Van Lith, Flau'jae Johnson, and Sa’Myah Smith will probably start, although they might swap in Aalyah Del Rosario for her height against Kitley. Morrow and Williams lead the scoring with 18.1 and 17.5 ppg respectively. Morrow has 3.5 steals per game with 1.4 blocks, clearly a defender to be worried about. Van Lith is the main facilitator, while Johnson, Smith, and Morrow lead the team in boards.
LSU is a very talented, very experienced team. Seven players return from last year's trophy run. Van Lith transferred from Louisville and is a dynamite addition to the Tigers' front line. She led the Cardinals to three Tournament appearances including the Final Four in 2022 and claimed two All-ACC First Teams.
A late, weekday road game is not ideal for VT to face LSU. They need to be 100% dialed in. This team will abuse weak points and make you pay for making mistakes. They’re also physical, which Tech has struggled with. Hopefully, they’ve learned after the Kansas game how to handle a team that plays so physically.
Kitley and Amoore are going to have a lot of pressure on them to score. They know this team well enough after last year. Bench production will have to be up to stay in the game when the starters need a rest. This is one of those games where you get to see what kind of team you’ve got, and how the postseason might pan out.