AllNCAA Sports

Hokies Win 8th Straight Game, Defeated Duke 61-56 (2-15-24)

By: Joey Raymond

All Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

Blacksburg, VA —Another sold-out Cassell Coliseum awaits the Virginia Tech Hokies women’s basketball team. The Hokies welcome Duke into the Cassell this time around. This is a huge game for the Hokies as they look to continue to move up the rankings in hopes of hosting an NCAA tournament bid and continuing to lead the ACC standings. Overall, the Hokies have won seven in a row and are in solo first place in the ACC standings with five games remaining. Duke comes into this match after a hard-fought overtime thriller against their arch-rival in North Carolina. The last time these two squads met, the Hokies led at half-time but ultimately got throttled by the Blue Devils. It didn’t help that the Hokies lost Georgia Amoore in that battle, but regardless, that was a game the Hokies didn’t want to lose but dropped. We’ll see if we get the same result as last time, or if the Hokies can get a revenge game win against the Blue Devils.

First Quarter Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​The Hokies would be the squad to grab possession off the tip, scoring immediately to get us started. This gives Cassell Coliseum something to cheer about and very quickly, the building starts to come alive. Liz Kitley would be the biggest reason the Hokies would finish the first period with a lead, scoring 10 points in the first quarter. The Blue Devils would play a very pesky game though, consistently taking advantage of the Hokies’ mistakes. The quarter would finish with Virginia Tech leading 15-14. The Blue Devils would have 2 players score 5 points Relgan Richardson and Ashlon Jackson. The teams would trade body blows frequently early, as Duke loves to play physical basketball and Virginia Tech matches their energy.

Second Quarter Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​The second quarter would include more of the same physical basketball, with defense reigning supreme and offense coming at a premium. Duke would score a 3 early to take their first lead of the game and they’d hold on to it for a majority of the second quarter. The Hokies would finally snag the lead back with just over 4 minutes left to play when Liz Kitley would score to bring the score to 23-22. The Hokies and the Blue Devils would continue to go back and forth on the scoreboard for the rest of the quarter. Liz Kitley would almost single-handedly carry the Hokies scoring attack, finishing the first half with 16 points. Shockingly enough, the Hokies, Georgia Amoore was almost non-existent in the first half, only making 2 of her 10 shots. The quarter would end with the Hokies leading the Blue Devils 30-27.

Third Quarter Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​Coming out of the half the two teams would trade shots early, with neither team looking to give an edge. Liz Kitley and Ashlon Jackson would battle it out for who could score the most points for their side. Both players would double-digit point totals with 5 minutes left to play in the quarter. Georgia Amoore would continue to look lost out there, passing on spots she would normally take shots, and continuing to miss shots she normally makes. Duke would eventually get the lead and hold onto it for a large portion of the third period. Offensively the only player on Virginia Tech scoring regularly was Liz Kitley who would have most of the points for the Hokies with 23. The quarter would end with the game landlocked, as both squads sat with 42 points.

Fourth Quarter Recap:

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

The seesaw battle would continue throughout the last quarter of play. Both teams would continually trade body blows and Duke would find themselves with 4 players with 4 fouls with 6 minutes left to go. Cassell would start to boil around that time, as the building is trying to will their team to victory. Liz Kitley would continue her offensive dominance, hitting 30 points with 5 minutes left to go. The last couple minutes of the game would be a slugfest, going back and forth on the scoreboard until Kitley hit a shot to give them a 3-point lead. Immediately following that, Georgia Amoore would hit the most clutch 3 of the game, stretching the Hokies lead to 6 points. Duke would respond with a 3-pointer of their own but would have to foul Georgia Amoore who would hit both free throws. That would put the Hokies up 61-56, and seal the Hokies eighth straight victory.

What’s Next?

Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network

​The Virginia Tech Hokies continue their winning ways and look to the next matchup against a really tough opponent, the Louisville Cardinals. That game will be a matchup of two top-25-ranked teams. It’ll more than likely be the toughest environment the Hokies have faced all year, as the Cardinals draw the largest crowds in the ACC. Louisville averages around 8 thousand fans a game in the KFC Yum Center, giving them an incredible home-court advantage. As for Duke, they take this game and they can walk away knowing they played tough and can learn a lot. Head coach Kara Lawson spoke to that in the post-game press conference. The Blue Devils will head back to North Carolina and be able to host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. That’ll be a tough matchup against a ranked team, it should be a fun matchup in Cameron Indoor.