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Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball Falls Hard to Duke: 46-63

It was magic in the 1st quarter, and then things began to shake apart. The Hokies melted in the 2nd half and struggled to both score and keep a handle on the ball. Need to get back to winning on Sunday. GO HOKIES!!!

Warmups before a home game
John Schneider - SB Nation (file)

It was just really disappointing.

That’s about the total description that any Hokie fan could give for the loss on Thursday night in Durham. It didn’t seem to be the case in the 1st quarter, though.

The Lady Hokies came out and controlled the game, shutting out Duke’s Lady Blue Devils until late in the 1st quarter 11-1. Then there was a sputter of life that seemed to begin to grow in Duke, and some issues that started cropping up for the Hokies.

At about five and a half minutes left in the 1st, Duke finally scored on a 50/50 foul shot combination. But something happened with Tech’s offense. They only scored 7 more in the last five minutes, but Duke was gaining some momentum and managed 6 more points. The quarter ended with Tech up 18-7 but something had really changed.

The 2nd Quarter was all about Duke recovering and beginning to get close while Tech struggled. In the 1st, Tech shot 7-12 from the floor with 4-7 three-point attempts. The 2nd quarter something happened that began to deflate things more than a bit. The Hokies shot 4-14 (only 28.6%) and something was going on with Georgia. She was losing a handle on the ball, and after a relatively hot start wasn’t getting anything to drain.

The half ended with Duke making steady progress as Tech tried to defend to keep their momentum down, but just weren’t making enough stops to keep the Blue Devils from closing the half only down by 5. The worrying part of the equation is that Duke put in 14 while Tech only managed 8 points.

The Blue Devils Ran Away with it in the 3rd,

The game momentum had not only shifted in the 3rd but diverged. Duke exploded on offense, and Tech more or less melted. Duke passed tech 27-26 at around the 8-minute mark, and never looked back. They just poured it on while Tech couldn’t get anything into the bucket. The quarter ended with a huge 27-8 Duke run, and with Tech having shooting problems there was no rational way for the Hokies to really hope to get back into it. The quarter ended with Tech down 14 points at 48-34, but what was even worse is that they had taken 14 shots in the quarter and hit 3.

And Held Off the Hokies in the 4th

Coach Brooks subbed in most of his bench in the game, but almost none of the starters were on the court for most of the 4th. Tech did manage to get 12 points registered, but it was on a 27% hit rate.

No Point in Stats

Liz Kitley double-doubled, again but really this wasn’t a premium performance for her, it was more of a default. She was the only Tech player who scored in double figures. She put in 18, pulled down 10 boards, blocked 2 and grabbed off a steal. Even Liz looked like she was struggling a bit. There was a moment in the 1st, when she was fouled shooting and missed both from the charity stripe when things just seemed to change for the entire team.

General Stuff

Cayla King played most of the game at 34 minutes along with Liz. Cayla scored 9. But Georgia, who was having some issues on the floor in the first half, was only on the floor for 20 minutes. Amoore, who is Iron Woman and seems to manage to play almost all of every game, only played half. That in and of itself is concerning. (No word on her condition after that elbow to the head in the scramble for the ball.)

Tilly Ekh had a difficult night hitting, and no one else who got floor time managed to get more than a few buckets.

The bus trip back and some practice sessions in anticipation for a home tip-off on Sunday against the Hoos should be a main point of focus for the team to get back on track. Their #14 ranking just took another hit, the poll won’t be out until Monday. If they can get it glued back together and put away Clemson they’ll probably stay within 2 positions, but if there is trouble, things could get messy for the voters.

We’ll see how it goes, we’ll be there, hoping that everything is okay, and this was just a bad road trip movie.