Elizabeth Kitley leads Virginia Tech past Duke in a massive ACC showdown

Virginia Tech's senior center carried her team to a much-needed home victory over Duke.
Duke v Virginia Tech
Duke v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

Final. 56. 434. ACC. 61. 447

Since losing at Duke on Jan. 18, the 16th-ranked Virginia Tech women's basketball team had won seven in a row heading into their much-anticipated rematch with the Blue Devils Thursday night at a sold-out Cassell Coliseum. It wasn't pretty, but the Hokies were able to rally for a win to even the season series.

Duke's physical defense frustrated Virginia Tech, but in the fourth quarter, the Hokies were able to get some timely stops and a huge 3-pointer from Georgia Amoore off a pass from Elizabeth Kitley to give them a six-point with 19 seconds left and then added two free throws to seal their 21st victory. Here are some observations after Tech improved to 12-2 in the ACC and won their 23rd straight win in Blacksburg.

  • Where would the Hokies have been without Kitley? The senior center recorded her 75th career double-double with 34 points and 12 rebounds. She was 13-for-17 from the field, 8-for-9 from the free throw line, and had seven offensive rebounds. Her one assist on Amoore's 3-pointer late in the game was the biggest assist from anyone in the game.
  • Amoore shot 4-for-21 from the field, made two 3-pointers, and finished with 13 points, but it was the final five points of the game with her 3-pointer and two free throws that sealed the win. She turned the ball over six times and only had three assists, but as she has done in the past, when her team needed her, stepped up.
  • Matilda Ekh finished with 11 points, which included two 3-pointers, both in the second half, including one off an Amoore offensive rebound to give Virginia Tech a four-point lead in the fourth quarter. She played good defense and hd four rebounds and three assists.
  • On a night when coach Kenny Brooks needed someone else to step up, Cayla King struggled without scoring a point and missing both shot attempts. Clara Strack had been playing well off the bench recently for Brooks, but she had just two rebounds, three points, and three blocks against Duke. Carys Baker hit the Hokies' first 3-pointer of the game in the first half for her only basket of the night.
  • Virginia Tech was 5-for-18 from behind the arc and shot 40% from the field with Kitley making 13 of their 22 field goals. Duke's defense and their length caused problems again for the Hokies all night long.

Virginia Tech returns to action Sunday afternoon at Louisville, which squeaked past Boston College Thursday night, on the road in a highly-anticipated matchup.