No. 9 Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball Beats UNC Greensboro, 72-51

Elizabeth Kitley and Virginia Tech improved to 3-1 with a win over UNC Greensboro on Monday. (Ivan Morozov)

It wasn’t a very pretty game, but No. 9 Virginia Tech got the job done on Monday night in Blacksburg, beating UNC Greensboro 72-51.

“This is what November is all about,” Tech head coach Kenny Brooks said after the win. “We really didn’t get a flow going the whole night, and part of it is my fault, just trying to figure out lineups and what we’re going to try to do here and there. At this point in the year, you’re really just trying to learn who can execute, what plays are really good for you right now, so I really killed the flow of the game, but I think those are necessities in order for you to grow as a basketball team.”

The Hokies (3-1) got off to a slow start, hitting on just six of their 16 looks in the first quarter, while the Spartans (3-2) shot 50 percent (8-of-16). Though Elizabeth Kitley thrived, scoring 18 of her 31 points in the first half, Georgia Amoore struggled early, knocking down just one of her nine first-half looks, which came at the end of the second quarter.

Kitley was 13-of-22 and had 10 rebounds to go along with her 31 points. Her 60th double-double was the seventh 30-point, 10-rebound double-double in Tech history, the first since she accomplished it two seasons ago in Dec. 2021 at Florida State (34 points, 13 rebounds).

“I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, I’ll say it as many times as you need me to say it: … I don’t want anyone to take her greatness for granted,” Brooks said of Kitley. “She can go out and play and she’s one of the best players in the country. To watch her do what she does night-in and night-out, we’re very fortunate that she’s on our team, and it gives us a chance to be one of the elite programs in the country.

“… I thought she was really the only one that played with the intensity, the passion, the focus that we need in order for us to continue to get better, and everyone has to step up and match her intensity, her passion and her focus. But I thought she was great tonight in all areas.”

Elizabeth Kitley was physical and aggressive and scored 31 points against the Spartans. (Ivan Morozov)

Tech was better in the second half, however, and shot 50 percent (14-of-28). For the game, it was 47 percent from the field (29-of-62). On the opposite end, it limited UNCG to just 31 percent shooting (9-of-29). Amoore also got some chances to fall and finished with nine points and eight assists.

It was not a clean game by any means. The Spartans were a bit disruptive and the Hokies couldn’t maintain a rhythm. They finished with 17 assists to 10 turnovers. It was also a choppy contest with multiple jump balls and 30 fouls.

The way Brooks played the game had an impact too. He tested different lineups and experimented, only going four deep on the bench instead of five like Thursday’s win over Houston Christian. He kept Amoore and Kitley on the court for 37 and 33 minutes, respectively, as he tried different things, like playing the 6-foot-6 Kitley alongside 6-foot-5 true freshman Clara Strack.

“That Liz played really well,” Brooks said with a smile when asked what he learned from mixing and matching. “We got her the ball where we needed to get it to her. I just think we didn’t play as energetic as we could, … but I think that’s a lesson learned. … I still think that the young kids are going to be able to help us and contribute; I’ve just got to figure out how. It’s like an embarrassment of riches, it really is, because we can play big, we can play small, we can play medium. I’ve just got to figure out who we’re going to be most comfortable with in a basketball game.”

Tech got the job done despite the inconsistencies, paced by Kitley and a complementary supporting cast. Matilda Ekh scored nine points and added four rebounds; Rose Micheaux had eight points and five boards; Cayla King only scored three points but had two rebounds and added five assists. Carleigh Wenzel (five points), Clara Strack (two) and Carys Baker (five) also added some scoring off the bench while Olivia Summiel corralled three boards.

UNC Greensboro, who posted a 16-14 record last season, didn’t have too many threats. The lone weapon was UNC Wilmington transfer Jayde Gamble, a shifty 5-6 guard who scored 25 points on 12-of-19 shooting. Outside of her, the rest of the Spartans were 9-of-41 (22%).

Kenny Brooks and Virginia Tech have a tough week ahead with two games in the Cayman Islands and then a road trip to Baton Rouge. (Ivan Morozov)

As a result, Monday’s game had pretty low stakes and was a learning opportunity for the Hokies, who showed they don’t have to live and die by the 3-point shot — Kitley’s 31 is the key example — but need to start fast against better competition.

They’ll have to find ways to create their own energy when shots aren’t falling too, especially when away from the friendly confines of Cassell Coliseum. Being the aggressors and not shying away from physicality is also important, especially in the next three games in the Cayman Islands against Kansas (Friday, 5 p.m. ET) and Tulane (Saturday, 11 a.m. ET) and the following road trip to No. 7 LSU.

“If we’re going to be the team we say we want to be, we have to learn how to come out and be the aggressor,” Brooks said. “… We’re still trying to figure out who we are, but [the Cayman Islands Classic] is going to be a great test for us. And it’s going to be more of a mental test than a physical test.”

Box Score: No. 9 Virginia Tech 72, UNC Greensboro 51

9 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. David, I appreciate your insight into the game. Your articles help me get a feel of the game, no just the score.

  2. Kenny, please give us more of the jumbo lineup! Also, more of Carys Baker. I think she can be a real difference maker by the end of the year.

  3. I found the Jumbo formation in the 2nd qtr – Amoore was out but Kitley, Strack and Wenzel where in and I think they managed to pull away with a nice run. Rose had some nice put ins too.


  4. These gals are good and Coach Brooks and staff coaching em up. Big bright spot for hokie sports. Whenever i need a pick me up i just watch this team. They are awesome ambassadors.

  5. Wish I had been there and seen Kitley and Strack on the court at the same time, maybe I’ll get my chance in January. And yeah, maybe that doesn’t work the way I would hope it would work, but that would have been fun to see that height on the floor for the Hokies.

    1. Just watched the highlights, looked pretty sharp if you ask me, OK, Amoore was off but stuff like that’s going to happen and what you hope happens is you get the points elsewhere (Kitley!) and is what happened. Wenzel had a nice one-handed running layup ala Caitlyn Clark. Someone here said that’s a tough shot to have. VT was clearly the better team especially inside but those guards for UNCG were driving for some incredible layups so a pretty good game in presenting some challenges.

  6. Beauty of this team is that we can get it in the paint or from the outside. UNCG was quick and feisty on defense, so we had less time to get outside shots off than in previous games (except Iowa). The spartans played a smart game against us, but few teams can cover all of our offensive strengths.

    We will be fine. Kenny Brooks brings in out of conference teams that play different styles so we will adapt to them. High Point was a five guard team, and UNCG an aggressive and quick team with good drivers. We need to pass these tests to develop, not always blow everyone away.

  7. It wasnt really about flow or being disrupted. If Amoore hits any of her un-contested 3s in the first half, we are reading about flow or being disrupted. She was 0-for-8 at one point on 3s and two inside drives/pullups. Kitley scored at will. And we got the ball into her.

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