Virginia Tech Women's Basketball: Clara Strack's breakout, Kenny Brooks message, Baylor

It was an impressive beginning to the NCAA Tournament for the Virginia Tech women against Marshall as they get ready for Baylor Sunday.

Virginia Tech v Marshall
Virginia Tech v Marshall / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages
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If there was one team that had a lot of eyes on them in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Friday, it was Virginia Tech. Just how were the Hokies going to look without Elizabeth Kitley and how would they react against an opponent in Marshall that plays a tough style with full-court pressure on both makes and misses?

In the end, for one afternoon, Virginia Tech put together a monster effort and blew out the Thundering Hurd, 92-49, at Cassell Coliseum to advance to the second round Sunday against Baylor in the Portland 3 Regional. Here are some thoughts as the Hokies prepare for the Bears.

Clara Strack had monster effort

It was clear from the opening tip what the game plan was for Virginia Tech. Establish an inside presence with freshman Clara Strack. She scored four of the Hokies' first five baskets and finished with 17 points, five rebounds, and four blocks while going 7-for-7 from the field, including a 3-pointer at the end of the first half, something Kenny Brooks spoke about after the game.

"Clara would be starting for a lot of teams. I told her when Liz went down, ‘We keep saying you’re going to be good. You need to be good now.’ And I think that her mindset, she’s big smooth. I don’t even know if she knew there was an NCAA Tournament, she doesn’t get flat. Nothing really shellshocks her, but she played exceptionally well"

Kenny Brooks

It was a nice start to her NCAA Tournament career and the Hokies will need another one against Baylor is they are going to get to the Sweet 16 next weekend in Portland.