Going into the first Commonwealth Clash in women's basketball this season, No. 17 Virginia Tech needed to know their in-state rival from Charlottesville was going to give them a battle. Virginia entered the game at Cassell Coliseum winners of two of their last three games and wins over ranked opponents, Florida State and North Carolina. Despite being 10-10, the Cavaliers were not going to be pushovers.
They never the Hokies get any traction in the first half and trialed by just five, 46-41, at halftime, but as they have so many times this season, Virginia Tech took over in the second half. The Hokies outscored the Cavaliers 17-5 in the third quarter and never looked back in rolling to a 13-point ACC victory.
Here are some observations after Virginia Tech improved to 17-4 overall and 8-2 in the ACC.
* You didn't think it was possible that Elizabeth Kitley was going to have two bad games in a row, did you? Four days after struggling big time at Syracuse with just six points, the two-time ACC Player of the Year responded with another 30-point game to lead the Hokies. She finished with 33, with 20 coming in the first half, 18 rebounds, and three blocks. She played all 40 minutes and didn't look the least bit tired when the final horn sounded.
* Georgia Amoore had it going all night and like Kitley, she played all 40 minutes for head coach Kenny Brooks. She had 20 points and 14 assists. She only connected on two of her nine 3-point attempts, but was able to get to the basket and finish through contact.
* Mitlda Ekh was the only other Virginia Tech player to finish in double-figures with 13. She hit three 3-pointers and played 36 minutes. As a team, the Hokies struggled from behind the arc making just seven of 30 3-point attempts. With their upcoming road games, they'll have to shoot better from behind the arc if they are going to get some road wins.
* Olivia Summiel contiues to be a nice addition to the starting five. She failed to score any points but had seven rebounds, six on the defensive end, and two blocks in 33 minutes.
* Virginia Tech shot 43% from the field, but just 23% from behind the 3-point line, which is rare at home. They only had six turnovers and only shot eight free throws, which is going to happen when they launch 30 3-pointers.
Virginia Tech now starts their toughest ACC stretch of the season with a pair of road games at North Carolina Sunday and North Carolina State next Thursday. They have struggled on the road this year in the ACC at times and this will be a good test against two NCAA Tournament teams on the road.