The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team began its defense of the ACC Championship with a dominant victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies had six players in double figures against the Panthers, so it was a balanced battle.
Here are some observations after Virginia Tech improved to 10-2, 1-0 in the ACC while Pittsburgh fell to 6-8, 0-1 in conference play.
The Hokies led 22-5 after the first quarter, but Virginia Tech struggled and struggled mightily in the second quarter. They were held scoreless for the first 5 minutes and 50 seconds of the second quarter, when the Panthers went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 22-14. The Hokies stepped up their defense and ended the first half on a 10-2 run to regain control of the game.
Typically, Amoore drives and dishes to set up her teammates, but against Pittsburgh, she led all scorers with 20 points. She made 3-of-8 3-pointers and was perfect on all three attempts from the free-throw line. She went 7-of-13 from the field overall and had three assists.
Although Kitley was limited to 10 points and nine rebounds, he was a big player defensively, converting shots and playing a key role in a Hokies defense that held Pittsburgh to many one-and-done possessions. She had two assists and did a great job of passing out of the post throughout the game.
As if guarding Kitley on the inside isn’t hard enough, focusing on her, the Hokies have other players who can hurt you from the outside. The same thing happened against Pittsburgh. Matilda Ek, a transfer from Michigan State University, had 16 points and four assists on 3-for-8 at-bats. Kayla King also made three treys and had 11 points and three assists. Virginia Tech can hurt you in a variety of ways with their starting lineup.
The Hokies bench made a big contribution against the Panthers. Off the bench, Carly Wenzel had 11 points and four assists, Olivia Zumiel had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Carys Baker had nine points and three rebounds. Center Carolyn Strzok had two points and two rebounds. Depth off the bench will be huge for Kenny Brooks and his team this season.
Virginia Tech returns to action Thursday night in its first road ACC game of the season at Wake Forest, but will be coming off an impressive season-opening performance against Pittsburgh.