Blacksburg, VA — In the Second Round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament, No. 1 seeded Virginia Tech hosted the No. 9-seeded South Dakota State. Both teams came in with momentum, with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
The Hokies controlled the first half, as Virginia Tech started strong with a 19-7 advantage after the opening period. The home team didn’t let up, leading the Jackrabbits 46-23 after two quarters. This was the Hokies’ season high for points scored in a half.
They were led by center and two-time ACC player of the year Elizabeth Kitley and guard Georgia Amoore. Kitley already had her 21st double-double of the season, as well as securing her 55th all-time career double-double and became the Hokies’ all-time leading field goal leader
In addition, the Hokie’s depth kept showing through, as they had four players scoring nine or more points with some aggressive and positive offensive coordination.
Moving into quarter three, it ended up being an overall quiet quarter for the Hokies. South Dakota State upped their own intensity and immediately began putting pressure on Virginia Tech as they started to chip away at the Hokies’ 23-point lead. However, Virginia Tech kept its composure and doubled down.
“We can definitely make it easier on ourselves by not succumbing to the opposition’s aggression,” expressed Amoore after the game on her team’s third-quarter lapse. “It’s all a lesson we can always learn from.”
The Jackrabbits continued their onslaught coming into the fourth quarter and proceeded to cut the once 23-point halftime lead to 10 points. The Hokies kept fighting and refused to let up. Amoore revealed that Coach Brooks, during a time out, said, “I need you to give me those eyes. I need you to be locked in.”
Refusing to quit, Amoore didn’t disappoint as she drilled a three-pointer in the face of a South Dakota State defender to push the lead back to a 13-point advantage. In fact, on the night, she made seven triples en route to a team-high, 21 points.
“We weren’t settling, and we were taking advantage of offensive rebounds,” added Kitley.
The Jackrabbits fought, but it wasn’t enough, as their season came to an end after losing 72-60 to Virginia Tech.
With this win, the Hokies will advance to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1999, an incredible achievement for the team.
“We definitely feel like we can go farther, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Kitley. With stars like two-time ACC player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amoore, the sky’s the limit for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech now awaits the winner of Tennessee vs Toledo.