The crowd wasn’t huge in Cassell Coliseum this evening. It was respectable and enthusiastic though. The student section was a bit sparse, but one can understand. Today was the last regular day of classes at Tech, so there were quite a few young people with other things on their minds but maybe if they had thought about it the 2-hour break would have done some good.
The Lady Hokies took to Carilion Court after a longish break from the Cayman Islands - to Baton Rouge road trip, and there was a bit of a bad taste left in their mouths from a game that very few people didn’t wince and shake their heads at. Very few people that we have spoken to about it thought it a fair contest and called objectively. It’s only opinion - since public reviews are somehow verboten, but Tech really needed to get itself on track after being punished with a 6 point drop in the polls from 9th to 15th.
There seemed to be a full bench earnestness about warmups, and there certainly was a good deal of energy as the Highty-Tighty pep band dressed up in their ugly Christmas Sweaters for the event.
Overall, no one expected that LIU was going to win this, but there was the expectation that it would have been a closer contest. The Lady Sharks had some good players and a few coverage headaches that presented some challenges to the Hokies.
Overall, though, from Tilly Ekh’s opening three-pointer, to the final buzzer, Virginia Tech led for the entire game, and by the end of the first quarter, it was a no doubt pull away. EXCEPT for the really odd note that Georgia Amoore hadn’t scored a point. In fact, Georgia was so busy running the offense and dishing out assists that she didn’t even score until the 2:49 mark of the 2nd quarter. Lots of folks were scratching their heads wondering why. By that time in the game she hadn’t even taken that many shots. She would end up making 8 total attempts, 5 from downtown, in the entire game. What she was doing was shoveling the ball around for teammates.
It was also a big game for Cayla King, who has been plagued by a chronically lidded basket of late. King scored all of her 21 points from downtown. In fact, 6 total players scored in double figures and as we were informed by the statistics guy, there was a record set for the number of assists, 500, by Georgia and the number of three-pointers by the team made, too.
It was a straight run away, so let’s just cut to the lengthy statistics listing to give nods to the contributors.
Cayla finally started connecting from downtown. It’s been a bit of a struggle early in the season for her, so it must feel pretty good to have those shots start draining. She finished with 21 points, all threes, she also gave out 4 assists, and did tough work on defense without coming close to getting into foul trouble. Cayla swiped the ball 3 times and blocked a shot.
2️⃣2️⃣’s first half triple comp pic.twitter.com/k8kd94nrtZ— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) December 6, 2023
Wait! I do these in point order, and we haven’t gotten to Liz yet. Carys Baker was en fuego for her time on the floor this evening. She scored 18 which was 7-9 from the floor of and that included 4-6 from downtown. That means she shot 100% from inside the arc and was also 1-1 in free throws. She also pulled down three boards, pushed out an assist, stole the ball once, and blocked a shot. Baker was only in for 18 minutes but she meant every second of that.
Liz put up a solid 17 points and 10 rebounds for another double-double. She also drained all three of her attempts from the charity stripe. The only thing unusual about her performance was that she spent 11 minutes off the floor.
Our Swedish Hokie is really starting to make her presence known. Tilly scored the first three (and the first points) of the game. She was 5 of 9 from the field and that included 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to finish with 13. Ekh also pushed out 3 assists and grabbed 3 rebounds. It was a solid performance for her 21 minutes on Carilion Court.
that didn't take long pic.twitter.com/cTETMyPlpY— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) December 6, 2023
Last week was patently unfair for Clara. She attracted unwarranted attention from the zebras, and her game ended before the first half in Baton Rouge. It took some courage and determination to come back from that, and she did well today, whether she was playing with Kitley or subbing in for Liz. Strack knocked down a blistering 5-6 from inside the arc and made her free throw to finish with 11 points for the game. She also pushed out an assist, pulled down six rebounds, and blocked a shot. That was a nice recovery for the Freshman and signs of good things to come.
This evening was Georgia’s 500th career assist, and that was pretty early in the game. She would end up with 14 total for the game which might be some other record from somewhere, but G double-doubled the other way. She’s been having some shot accuracy problems, but she still managed to drain 2 from beyond, and one from inside along with two swishes from the charity stripe to put in 10 points. She picked up 3 rebounds, managed 2 blocks and a steal on defense.
and counting... pic.twitter.com/nl8WVPrPsA— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) December 7, 2023
Carleigh Wenzel and Olivia Summiel
Wenzel took a grand total of 4 shots. She made 2 of them, one for three and also managed an assist. Carleigh pulled down two boards and made an assist. Olivia scored from inside the arc and a free throw but really had a day grabbing rebounds with 5 in her 10-minute stint on the floor. Each of them contributed a blocked shot on defense.
The next game the Radford Lady Highlanders get on the buses and head up Peppers Ferry to pay a visit to the neighborhood on December 10th. The tip is at 2PM.