Virginia Tech women clinch ACC regular-season title outright despite Notre Dame loss

The Hokies suffered a 13-point loss on the road to a very talented and impressive Irish team but clinched the ACC title after Syracuse lost in overtime at NC State.

North Carolina v Virginia Tech
North Carolina v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

58. 447. ACC. 71. 443. Final

Taking their 10-game winning streak to No. 17 Notre Dame Thursday night, the fifth-ranked Virginia Tech women's basketball team was looking to make school history. Already with a share of the ACC regular season title following a win over North Carolina at home Sunday afternoon, the Hokies were looking to win the title outright with a win over the Irish.

Freshman phenom Hannah Hidalgo and Notre Dame had other ideas.

The Irish played suffocating defense, making things very difficult for Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amoore, and used a 19-2 run in the first half to take a 14-point lead. They held off multiple runs by the Hokies to pick up a huge win at home. Following the game, the Hokies found out that Syracuse lost, 75-71, in overtime at North Carolina State, which clinched the ACC title outright for Tech.

Here are some observations after the Hokies dropped to 23-5 overall and 14-3 in the ACC. The Irish improved to 22-6 and 12-5 in the conference and are still very much in play to get a top-four seed and double bye in the ACC Tournament.

  • First and foremost, Notre Dame looked a lot better than a No. 17 team in the country. To say they should be higher is an understatement.
  • Virginia Tech didn't do themselves any favors with turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds. They struggled to get the ball into the post to Kitley, they had some out of control passes. The Hokies had seven turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and then four more in the second half. The Irish made Tech pay with offensive rebounds for second-chance points.
  • Sona Citron went scoreless in the first half, but she carried Notre Dame in the second half with 21 points. She took advantage of the attention Hidalgo got and was on the end of a lot of assists. Hidalgo finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Amoore finished with 20 points, but shot 7-for-24 from the field, while Kitley had 12 points while going 4-for-11 from the field. She also finished with nine rebounds.
  • Virginia Tech shot 37% from the field and made eight of 20 3-point attempts while giving up 12 offensive rebounds. Not the best performance by the Hokies, but considering what they have done on the road this season in the ACC, they were due for a night like this.

Virginia Tech will look to rebound Sunday night at Virginia in the second battle this season with the Cavaliers.