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Virginia Tech Hokies Defeat Kansas in the Cayman Islands in a Close One: 59-58

Both basketball teams are on the road this Thanksgiving weekend, and in the same general direction, but the Lady Hokies ended up in the Lesser Antilles to attend the Cayman Island Tournament. They played a scary Kansas team and nipped them 59-58 in a close defensive contest. GO HOKIES!!!

The starters get read for tipoff
John Schneider - SB Nation (file)

The Lady Hokies Pull Down a One Point Victory

The Play-by-Play at Hokie Sports seems to be messed up so I had to go to Yahoo Sports for the summary. I only got a chance to track the game on my phone feed so it was a bit frustrating. It was a really exciting game. Maybe too exciting. Kansas jumped out to an early and pretty slim lead by controlling the opening tipoff, and putting up the first bucket of the game. Liz Kitley was fouled shooting and ended up missing a free throw out of her two, and there the Hokies hung at a single point as the Lady Jayhawks managed to add four more points to their total, but that actually took 2:12 to accomplish. It looks like it was a real defensive push pull. The ice broke for the Hokies with a Cayla King 3 with an Georgia Amoore assist, and then a layup by Liz with another boost from Georgia. Kansas did score, but Georgia buried a 22-footer for 3, and got the Hokies within a single point at the 4:51 mark of the game.

There the score hung until the Hokies pulled ahead with a 12-footer from Liz. But Kansas returned the favor with their own 2 from the paint, and then at the 3:10 mark Cayla King broke down the court and laid one in to get back the 1-point lead. The score hung up at 13-12 Hokies until the Jayhawks put in another 2 at the 1:41 mark. The lead exchanges weren’t dizzying, yet, but they were getting to be worrisome because they were slow with turnovers and fouls being dished out. Georgia buried another 3, then Liz followed with 2, and Georgia closed out the 1st quarter with a 2-pointer. 19-16.

The indications were, that Kansas had no intention of going away because after a scoring flurry in the early minutes of the 2nd quarter, the Hokies stalled out at 26, and Kansas nibbled at the 26-19 lead a few buckets at a time. They eventually tied it 26 all with four minutes left in the half, but Georgia Amoore came right back and put the Hokies up by 2. That set up a 2-point exchange from tie to 2 down for the Jayhawks until they broke the direction with two made free throws. The half ended with a 32-31 point Hokie lead and the only points scored by either squad were Liz Kitley’s two free throws at the 2:05 mark.

The 2nd Half just kept up the same sort of pressure. The Hokies did manage to grab a couple of 7-point leads in the 3rd quarter, but the Jayhawks would eventually nibble it down to a few points, tying the score a couple of times in the first few minutes of the period, but they never passed the Hokies in the quarter.

The 4th quarter was a total rock-fight with only 20 points scored between the teams. The critical point in the quarter was the 3:50 mark, Kansas buried a three, finally bursting ahead of the Hokies 58-56. That was until Georgia Amoore, came up in a clutch situation and drained the final points of the game with a 23 foot 3-pointer and an assist by Liz. Neither team scored for nearly 3 minutes.

We always talk about ways to win games, and this one was a defensive struggle with a total of 17 lead changes, there were 31 fouls between the teams with Cayla King, and Rose Micheaux coming close to fouling out with 4 each. It was a defensive game and proving that you can win that way is always important.

Important Stats

Elizabeth Kitley

Liz double-doubled again. She put up another 31-point effort, with 18 rebounds and 3 assists. On defense, Liz knocked away 5 shot attempts, and was 9 of 10 from the charity stripe. It was another career game for her.

Georgia Amoore

Even with some frustrating accuracy problems Georgia managed to put critical points on the board, finishing with 14. She only managed 2 of 7 attempts from downtown which has to be disappointing for her. She had some turnover problems as well. When games get that tight inside and that physical with the pressing, the team ball handler is going to get set upon often, and that puts her in a tough spot. Eventually she’ll work out of the slump and a double figure effort isn’t much of one. Georgia also dished out 7 assists, and in a tight game that figure is important.

Rose Micheaux, Cayla King, Matilda Ekh, and Carleigh Wenzel

The three starters didn’t score in the double figures, and Carleigh came off the bench for more than half the game, but none generated a ton of points. Rose, scored 6, Cayla 5, Tilly 2, and Carleigh 1. They’d have all liked to have put more in the bucket, but their attempt levels never reached more than 5. Cayla managed 3 steals, and no one grabbed too many boards. It was a major defensive fight, and the shots just weren’t there.

The next game is at 11:00 AM EST on Saturday against Tulane. Then it’s off to LSU for a grudge prone rematch.