Virginia Tech women's basketball uses strong second half to beat Clemson

Leading by two points at halftime, the Virginia Tech women's basketball team pulled away from Clemson in the second half behind Elizabeth Kitley to beat the Tigers by 12 points.
Clemson v Virginia Tech
Clemson v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

62. 432. ACC. 74. 447. Final

As expected, the Virginia Tech women's basketball team played Clemson Sunday at Cassell Coliseum without point guard Georgia Amoore. The Hokies floor general was injured in the second half of Thursday night's loss at Duke when she was elbowed diving on the floor for a loose ball. Without her, Virginia Tech struggled in the first half but pulled away in the second half behind center Elizabeth Kitley to end their two-game losing streak.

The Hokies improved to 14-4 overall and 5-2 in the ACC with the win, while the Tigers fell to 8-11 and 1-6. Here are three takeaways from Virginia Tech's win without Amoore.

1. Kitley carries Hokies in the second half

Elizabeth Kitley
Clemson v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

Kitley failed to record another double-double with 31 points and just eight rebounds, but in the second half, the two-time ACC Player of the Year took over the game offensively. She had 22 points in the third and fourth quarters, including six fourth-quarter field goals. She also finished with four steals and two blocks.

2. Matilda Ekh & Cayla King combine for six 3's

Matilda Ekh
Clemson v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

Without Amoore, the Hokies were going to need some of their other guards to step up and make some shots from the outside and Ekh and King did that. Ekh hit four 3-pointers as part of her 16 points. She hit a corner 3 as the first half ended off a pass from King, who had nine assists, to give Virginia Tech a 31-29 halftime lead. King, who left the game with 4:59 left colliding with a Clemson player, hit her first 3-pointer for the game's first bucket and then hit one early in the third quarter to extend the Hokies lead to six points as part of an 8-2 run to begin the second half. After being carried off the court, she came back to the bench before the game ended, but didn't go back in the game.

3. Carleigh Wenzel makes first career start

Matilda Ekh, Carleigh Wenzel
Clemson v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

Wenzel got the start in place of Amoore and played well enough to get the Hokies over the top. Late in the game, she made two great passes, one to Kitley for a layup and one to Clara Strack for a lay up as she was wide open under the basket. Great floor vision. Wenzel finished with seven points, four assists, and two steals. She did turn the ball over five times, but the Hokies collected 20 turnovers as a team.

It was a well-balanced effort for the Hokies as senior Olivia Summiel was in the starting lineup and had six of her nine rebounds on the defensive end. She hit a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter as part of her five points. Virginia Tech is off until Thursday night when they host Georgia Tech and they hope that four days of rest will help get King and Amoore back into the lineup.