Baylor eliminates Virginia Tech in the second round of the NCAA Tournament

The Hokies saw their season come to a stunning end with a loss at home against Baylor Sunday night.
Virginia Tech v Marshall
Virginia Tech v Marshall / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

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A season that started with so many expectations ended long before Virginia Tech women's basketball fans had hoped it would. One year after reaching the Final Four for the first time in program history, the fourth-seeded Hokies in the Portland 3 Regional were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament second round Sunday night by fifth-seeded Baylor at Cassell Coliseum. It broke a 26-game Virginia Tech winning streak at home.

Virginia Tech, which was without three-time ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, led only once in the game, 49-48, in the third quarter, but the Hokies struggled all night getting stops on the defensive end when they needed. They had chances multiple times to take a lead, but Baylor's defense, which focused on Georgia Amoore, was able to get more stops.

The difference in the game was Baylor's Jada Walker, who entered the game averaging 7.5 points a game, scored 26 second-half points en route to a career-high 28. She made tough shots and was also able to get to the basket. Virginia Tech simply had no answer for her in the second half.

Freshman Clara Strack had another strong performance for Virginia Tech with 18 points and 10 rebounds. She handled the physical Bears on the offense and made a lot of tough shots. Virginia Tech struggled from beyond the arc, going 9-for-28. Matilda Ekh had a team-high 19 points and six rebounds and Amoore had 18.

It was a disastrous final minute in the third quarter for Virginia Tech. Amoore missed a wide-open layup and Rose Micheaux was called for a foul rebounding which led to two free Bears' free throws. Carleigh Wenzel drained a corner 3-pointer with six seconds left, and Jada Walker hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer for a 3-point Baylor lead, 55-52, heading into the final 10 minutes. That sequence ended up being the difference in the game.

Virginia Tech never led in the first half despite forcing five ties, but they could never score after getting a stop to take the lead. The Hokies struggled mightly from behind the arc going just 2-for-16 after shooting the ball much better in the first round on Friday against Marshall.

Now the questions surround the future of the program. Does Amoore use her final season and come back? Does Brooks leave for another job? Who enters the transfer portal? So many questions after a great season in Blacksburg.