The Big Test
Up until this past week with their tournament peer opener in the Bahamas, (Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship) the Hokie Women’s Basketball team had not faced a peer program this season. That had been sort of a minor irritant to some sports analyst types as they gauged how they were going to talk about and vote on the Hokies. Well, maybe the next poll that comes out will be a bit more interested.
The Hokies had already played a tight game with Kentucky as they held on to an early massive lead to grind out the final three of four to prevail 82-74. The game was marked by long court times for the starters, and some real clutch scrambling in the final quarter to keep the Wildcats from coming all the way back.
A Different Scoring Leader Pops Off the Bench
November 23rd, proved to be a very different contest. The Hokies’ regular starters didn’t play as much for this contest, and the bench became much more important. The scoring was led by... wait for it... Kayana Traylor off the bench with 18. Traylor might have come off the bench, but she ended up putting 32 minutes on the court so maybe starting wasn’t all that important anyway. Part of that was hitting 7-8 free throws, with 4 assists, and a steal.
Traylor’s excellent showing coming in after the tip, was one thing, but the usual suspects still came up big, too! Center Liz Kitley was only behind the scoring top by a single bucket with 17 points and another double-double with 10 rebounds. She added to the defense with 2 blocks and a steal. I really don’t think she minded missing the point lead by a bucket, but her single missed free throw might shake a naughty finger at her. But Traylor missed one too.
Of course, Junior Guard Georgia Amoore was right behind them with 15 points, doing basketball quarterback things with 6 assists, three 3-pointers, and all of her 4 free throws. Amoore led the team in floor time spending all by two minutes of the game out there. Did we did mention that there was a significant contribution from the bench (which was short for this contest)? D’asia Gregg also got court time. Gregg clocked in at 21 minutes with a nice 8 points and 4 rebounds. Even Taylor Geiman and Clara Ford got the chance to get some time in.
The Pull Away was Completed by Traylor
So, the game was capped by Traylor who, with 11 seconds remaining, drained her final two free throws and the clock wound down to 0 without another bucket from either side. It was a complete game for a reduced size team against another peer opponent. The status of the tournament doesn’t seem to have been published. There was no “championship game” and it looked more like an opportunity for the invited teams to enjoy some sub-tropical weather and play some quality opponents.
The Virginia Tech Hokies Women’s Basketball team ended up being more quality than either Kentucky or Mizzou really wanted to face.