No. 9 Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball Holds Off Kansas

Elizabeth Kitley led the Hokies with 31 points and 18 rebounds, her second consecutive 30-10 double-double. (Virginia Tech athletics)

No. 9 Virginia Tech held off Kansas for a 59-58 victory in the Cayman Islands Classic on Friday evening.

“We had some unforced errors, and give them credit,” Tech head coach Kenny Brooks said on FloSports after the game. “They’re a very good basketball team, a championship-caliber basketball team. I think they’re a top-25 team. And to come away with the win, we’re very fortunate.

“I messed a lot of the stuff up. I’m still trying to get to know these kids and I’m calling too many plays and we’re stagnant too many times. I’ve got to let them play.”

The Hokies (4-1) came out on the positive side of a hard-fought battle with the Jayhawks (2-2), the reigning WNIT champions. The game featured seven ties and 16 lead changes.

Elizabeth Kitley was phenomenal and had her second straight 30-point, 10-rebound performance, finishing with 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting with 18 boards. She was 9-of-10 from the free throw line, too, and had five blocks.

Outside of her, however, the Hokies struggled. They were extremely stagnant offensively and turned it over 21 times. Nine of those came from Georgia Amoore, a career low. She scored 14 points, though, and had seven assists.

Tech didn’t receive many contributions from elsewhere. It had just one point off the bench — a free throw from Carleigh Wenzel — and Brooks played his starters for most of the contest. Rose Micheaux had six points and four rebounds, Matilda Ekh had two and three while Cayla King had five and three.

Tech shot 42 percent (22-of-53) for the game but cooled down over the course of 40 minutes. After an 8-of-14 first quarter, it was 6-of-16 in the third and 3-of-11 in the fourth. One of those late baskets was Amoore’s 3-pointer with 2:57 remaining that iced the game.

On the other end, Virginia Tech was solid, limiting Kansas to just 39 percent for the game. Taiyanna Jackson, one of the better centers in the U.S., had just eight points and four rebounds and spent much of the game in foul trouble. S’Mya Nichols (13 points, 5-of-13 FG) and Zakiyah Franklin (12 points, 4-of-13) led the way in terms of scoring. The Jayhawks had just two assists to 15 turnovers.

Though it wasn’t pretty, it’s a good result for the Hokies against a team that should make the NCAA Tournament come March. They return to action at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday morning vs. Tulane.

Brooks: “These kids are trying to learn each other and they had some opportunities where they didn’t do what they were supposed to do, but that’s what happens in November, and when you can win in November, that’s really good.”

Box Score: No. 9 Virginia Tech 59, Kansas 58

23 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Dave, I read your preview on this, Kansas center being on a lot of watch lists for award, senior laden team and oh yeah, a freshman Micky Dee’s AA. What am I missing here? Why are they not ranked? I guess the simple answer is that they haven’t beaten a “somebody” yet. I think they will and will get ranked, starting with a wounded Uconn tonight.

    Bottom line is that this is a good win for VT. Why Kenny wasn’t trying out combos out the court, he was playing to win this, even if by only one point. If Jackson’s on the same watch lists as Kitley, welp, game over.

  2. Glad for the win. Hope Liz keeps playing like player of the year and looking forward to when the rest of the team begins to contribute more. Let’s Go …beat Tulane.

  3. Thought Liz faced some adversity and handled it well…

    Honestly she looked like she was in for a rough one at the start, think Jackson had like 4-6 points right away. But Liz got her into foul trouble and by the end: Liz had 30+ and 18, fouled out the Greek beast, and kept Jackson pretty quiet…

    1. Freshman playing in a tight game? Probably doesn’t need to address it anymore than the other players who didnt play. We don’t gave the depth against good teams in tight games that previews on paper claim we do.

      1. I absolutely believe Kenny here, he knew it was a no kidding, good team and played it to win, by one point if necessary. Expect to see more of the bench against Tulane but every time he gives the quip about it “only being November” read a lot into it.

  4. “One of those late baskets was Amoore’s 3-pointer with 2:57 remaining that iced the game.”

    The games was far from iced with 2:57 left.

    1. Yeah.. when you win by 1 and other team has a chance to win, you didnt ice the game with 2 mins left

  5. Coach has a lot of new parts to assimilate, it’s just part of November basketball 🏀! Great to get wins while this is going on! My gosh Liz is good!

  6. Huge trap game vs a very good opponent. Take the W – and move forward. Brooks and team will be watching a ton of video from this game. That’s what a great coach does.

    BTW – Iowa lost a trap game. It happens.

  7. Coaches of his caliber shouldn’t “mess alot of things up.” Are they winning despite him? I hope this is not true, or maybe there is more context to his remark about what he messed up.

    1. Credit CKB for recognizing and admitting he was part of the struggle last nite. A good coach does THAT.

      1. I think that’s a kind of coach speak, take pressure off players, and honestly, it’s probably always true that one can do something better.

        1. I take that as he tried something and it didn’t work quite the way he wanted so ya ain’t going to see that again.

      1. What good coaches do. CKB is a very good coach, his records proves that. GO LADY HOKIES and move on!!!

    2. Refreshing to have an accomplished coach who is humble and confident enough to admit mistakes.

Comments are closed.