Tough Weekend for Hokie Basketball
My apologies to all, yesterday was edit pictures for the men’s game and put away Christmas decorations day. This morning, we watched the snow fall, had a fire in the fireplace, and spent time with the dogs. There is a certain level of procrastination that writing up a losing effort imparts, and sometimes you don’t feel too guilty about it.
Before we get into any particulars, and there won’t be too many because with a score of 81 points it is impossible to point out too many flaws, but this game might be summed up best with the following tweet/X entry, near the end when it looked like the Hokies might get back to making it a contest, late.
When you see Georgia Amoore foul out of a game, something is off kilter. The Hokies are a generally very clean playing team. Suddenly in Tallahassee, they roll up 23 personal fouls, including 3 for Kitley and Ekh. We expect that Cayla is going to push the envelope in a close game, but she ended up in trouble with 4. That’s just too much when a hard pressing Florida State team only racks up 15.
If that’s controversial, so be it. We have long called for an open independent review board that evaluates, in public, officiating of all sports. These sorts of abnormal totals need to be reviewed in detail, and the quality of the game and result evaluated.
The highlighted “foul” called on Liz Kitley in a critical moment was not only the exact opposite of the correct call, but then followed up by what should have been a clear technical on FSU’s player for her unsportsmanlike reaction.
Maybe one day there will be something done, but unfortunately secrecy and a false sense of organizational protectiveness will remain in the way of openness and simple justice.
Suffice it to say, Tech lost this one, but to whom will remain an unanswered question.
Final from Tallahassee. pic.twitter.com/D8LlJMnLx5— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) January 14, 2024
81 Points Should Always Win a Basketball Game Played in Regulation
The flow of the game was close, right up until things got crazy in the final quarter. Tech struggled in the 1st, with Tech putting up a respectable 19 points shooting 53% from the floor, but FSU was just a hair better at 58%. The 27-19 score reflected that difference.
Tech managed to reverse the trend in the 2nd quarter, though. The Hokies managed to go on a couple of burst runs and ended the quarter scoring 27, while FSU only managed 13. Tech caught up to the Seminoles by the 4:00 break, and then passed them as the defense limited FSU to five points in the final two and a half minutes of the half. Carys Baker dropped in a three to close out Tech’s scoring for the half, and the buzzer sounded with Tech leading by 6, 46-40.
Taking the lead into the locker room pic.twitter.com/Hz7riAd98S— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) January 14, 2024
The Third Quarter Flipped the See-Saw, Again
Tech led the entire 3rd quarter, but FSU was managing to continually nibble at the score, getting stops, and making shots when the Hokies were having some issues getting the ball to drain. Eventually though Tech had stretched the lead to 8 points at the 6:30 mark, Tech’s foul count started mounting, and they began to lose exchanges. The ‘Noles managed to chip away at the lead and the quarter closed with Tech only up by 1 point, 65-64. Added to that deflating end result, the momentum had shifted to FSU as critical Hokies were in foul trouble, and FSU was able to play full tilt.
The Fourth Quarter was a Race and Tech was a Step Behind
The Hokies didn’t manage to score anything until Georgia Amoore connected with a 2-point jump shot at the 7:16 mark. That’s nearly 3 minutes when FSU was hitting enough shots to pull ahead by 9 points. G’s basket cut that to 7, but the exchange flow remained in FSU’s favor. Georgia was finally heating up but her three baskets and several buckets by Kitley, just managed to close the gap to 3. With what is an eternity on the clock of 3:39 in the game. Tech was only behind by 4 when the infamous offensive foul was called on her at the 51 second mark. That ended any hope of a final rally up, and FSU was fouled into an artifical 89 points by the final buzzer. Tech was out of clock, and luck.
Once again, Liz Kitley led the Hokies in scoring, and Georgia had frustrating shooting issues early in the contest. Tech had four players in double figures, including Georgia, Liz, Tilly, and Rose.
Kitley doubled up, again. Liz was 14 of 28 and 2 from the charity stripe for 30 points. She pulled down 12 boards. She also pushed out a high number of 5 assists she also had two blocks.
Tilly was a critical part of the offense. She drained 4 threes and was a perfect 2-2 from the free-throw line. She also had a block, a rebound, and two assists.
Closed the gap— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) January 14, 2024
» ESPN pic.twitter.com/OGZkFBmPkt
There is no mincing of things. Georgia is in a shooting slump. She seemed to be working her way out of it but for the last two games she’s been missing way more than she’s used to. Of course, with Amoore, that still means she’s scoring in double figures, but she obviously not happy with what’s going on. Hopefully, Coach Brooks and staff can help her work out the issues that she’s having squaring up and getting the ball to fly right. Still, Amoore was critical in unsticking the Hokie offense in the fourth quarter and getting them within 4. She finally got hot, and ended the game with 13 points and 8 assists.
Rose made a statement early in the game and contributed to keeping the Hokies in the contest in the first half. She put in 12 points on 7 total shots from the floor and two buckets from the charity stripe. 12 points in 12 minutes is something to remember for the future.
Hot start by Rose, she's got 8 (4-5 FG) pic.twitter.com/HG9oyI6T4h— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) January 14, 2024
Cayla King, Carys Baker, Olivia Summiel, and Clara Strack
King scored 5 on 4 field goal attempts and 2 free-throws. Baker okayed 5 minutes, took exactly two shots from downtown and drained one of them. Olivia Summiel took one shot from the floor and made it. She shined under the boards with 7 rebounds and blocked a shot. Clara Strack was only in for 4 minutes. She 2 shots from the floor and made one.
The word from the polls, this Monday is that Tech was not punished too much for this road loss under dicey conditions. They dropped to #14 and will be traveling to Duke to play the Lady Blue Devils on the 18th (correction - the 21st is a critical game in the Cassell against Clemson).
A win there would do much to help salve the bruises from the FSU contest.