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Virginia Tech Hokies Suffer a Tough Loss to LSU: 82-64

It was a good start, that ran out of gas in the 2nd quarter and just never got going again. LSU played a tough inside physical game and ran hard. The Lady Hokies went cold except for Georgia and Liz. This was a tough loss. Lessons are to be learned. GO HOKIES!!!!

NCAA Womens Basketball: Virginia Tech at Louisiana State
It was a tough floor fight for this one - Tech’s defense suffered
Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

You love writing up the wins, and bragging about who was hot, and how good things looked on the court, but this one, you really don’t want to have to spend the time. It wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of the Hokies, but LSU in Maravich is a different sort of animal to face off against, and after a nice start by the Hokies in the 1st quarter, the Lady Tigers tuned it up on both sides of the court in the 2nd quarter to end Hokie hopes by the halftime break.

Tech’s Good Period

The First Quarter Looked good until the final two minutes. Elizabeth Kitley started the scoring with a jumper from the paint, and Georgia Amoore followed that one up with another 2-pointer, after an LSU turnover. The fouls started happening and an exchange of some pretty rough inside play got the Tigers past 0, and they began to nibble at the exchange. Tech would work and score something, and LSU would run, take multiple shots, and score in return, either from the free-throw line or the court.

Tech was up by 9 points at two times in the period, but then something started to look like LSU was finding something of a cooperative level that worked against the Hokies. With 1:11 remaining in the period, the score was 20-13, but no one scored. Of note, there were 11 total fouls called in the first period, and 7 were on the Hokies.

The Rest of the Game was a Struggle

The Hokies sort of fell apart in the 2nd quarter. The lid went on and the number of shot attempts from everyone, but Georgia and Liz dropped off. In addition, the fouls called on the Hokies began to mount with 5 of the 8 total in the period going to the Hokies. LSU was just dominating inside on offense and defense. Even with double digit scoring by Amoore and Kitley (who also double-doubled) the Tigers dominated the inside, and the rebounding game, often having two or three players in the paint in position for rebounds while there were few Hokies to be seen. The 2nd quarter ended with Tech only putting up 9 points, and LSU 22. They caught up to Tech and flipped the exchange by the 7-minute mark. Then they shut down Tech’s scoring pretty much altogether. Liz Kitley would score the last field goal for tech at the 4:50 mark, and then no one would score again until she drained two from the charity stripe with 32 seconds left.

Fouls Ruled, and Stymied Defense

Backup Center Clara Strack fouled out by the end of the first half with two in the first quarter, and 3 in the second. Even Liz Kitley was assaulted by foul calls in the 4th, finally fouling her out of the game just past the halfway point of the 4th quarter. There were 10 total fouls called in the 4th, and most of them went to Tech. Whether or not this was frustration or something else is for other people to argue, but what was apparent is that the fouls being called looked a whole lot like a major part of LSU’s defense. It was nearly impossible for the Hokies to get position, maintain possession, or rebound effectively with so many whistles being blown against them. With no open, honest, and transparent reviews of officiating the bad taste will continue in all sports, not just basketball.

Suffice it to say, that without Kitley, Georgia put up a big struggle, but with both Strack and Kitley removed by the refs, there wasn’t a comeback in the works, or even an effective narrowing of the score.

Significant Statistics

Georgia Amoore

What a frustrating outing for Georgia. She was 11-24 from the field for 25 points. 22 of those were from either the close field, layups, or foul shots. She was only 1-9 from downtown, and that has to be a downer for her. Since really no one much else was getting the ball in the bucket either, that limited her assists to 3, and with LSU being given free rein in the defensive paint, her rebounding (not normally high since she’s point) barely registered at 2.

Elizabeth Kitley

Even with only 33 minutes on the court, due to a whistle assault in the 4th, Liz did manage to double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds (5 offensive). Liz almost never fouls out, so this one is a strange event.

Matilda “Tilly” Ekh

Tilly scored in double figures and used all of her 36 minutes on the floor to do it. She finished with 11 points, with 2 coming from foul shots, and 3 coming from downtown. She’s going to be a good addition to the team, and the grit shown playing in really tough conditions for this one shows it.

The Rest of the Squad Really struggled to get any sort of traction, Carleigh Wenzel is quickly earning more minutes on the floor. She scored 5 points for her 10 minutes on the court, and she hustles hard. The reality is that between Rose Micheaux (4 points), Cayla King (3), Olivia Summiel, Carys Baker, Samyha Suffern, and poor Clara Strack who just was a whistle target, the Hokies only managed a total of 14 shots from the floor. Half of those went to King who encountered a major lid on everything that she tried.

It’s a Long Season So...

Well, the ladies come home to Cassell for a refocus and a game in the Cassell against Long Island University on December 6th. The rest could give them a break and help them recover from a tough but reasonably successful road trip. There are lots of lessons to be learned, and maybe one of them is to stay away from Baton Rouge. This is going to be a bit of a deflating loss, and one would expect the rankings to sink out of the top 10 for this one.

Time to regroup, refocus, rest, and get ready for the heart of the season to start.