No. 19 Virginia Tech Earns Ranked Road Win At No. 22 Syracuse

Georgia Amoore had 29 points for the Hokies in their win at Syracuse. (Virginia Tech athletics)

No. 19 Virginia Tech picked up its first ranked road win of the season on Sunday at No. 22 Syracuse, 75-62.

“It was a collective effort,” Tech head coach Kenny Brooks said afterwards on the Virginia Tech Sports Network. “Obviously, Georgia [Amoore] was outstanding today, but we had contributions from other people, and on a day where Liz [Kitley] didn’t have it going, everybody else stepped up. Never wavered.”

The Hokies (16-4, 7-2 ACC) won their third straight game behind Georgia Amoore’s 29 points (10-of-17), four rebounds and three assists. The Orange (17-3, 7-2), fresh off a Thursday win over No. 15 Notre Dame, its second of the year, did not have enough firepower to compete with Tech.

ACC Player of the Year candidate Dyaisha Fair, who ranks ninth all-time in D-I scoring and is averaging 21 points per game this season, was limited to 16 by Tech on 6-of-15 shooting. As a team, the Orange shot 33 percent. Though it made a 56 percent clip (10-of-18) in the second quarter, it was 12-of-48 (25%) in the other three periods. Tech held ‘Cuse to its second-fewest points output of the season.

“We started off man-to-man and I liked it, I loved the energy we had, but Georgia picked up two quick fouls and Cayla picked up a quick foul,” Brooks said. “So we went to zone to protect them a little bit and it worked, and we rebounded well out of it. … We were aware where Fair was and then when she did get loose a little bit, we contested her shots, and she got a couple, but she’s a terrific player.

“It was a great defensive effort from our group.”

On the other side, Elizabeth Kitley weirdly had an off-night for the Hokies, scoring just six points while corralling nine rebounds and recording five turnovers, two blocks and two steals. It was the first time she did not record double-digit points and rebounds in the same game since Dec. 4, 2022, at Tennessee, which Tech won 59-56.

“We are very reliant on her, but it goes to show you that we can win without her great production, and that’s what I’m proud of,” Brooks said. “We’re learning how to win in a lot of different ways because you have to do that on the road in the ACC.”

The supporting cast played well, however, even when Amoore missed the entire second quarter due to foul trouble. Carleigh Wenzel, who finished with six points, four assists, four rebounds and just one turnover, ran point and helped them take a 36-32 lead into the locker room. Meanwhile, Matilda Ekh and Cayla King were huge.

As a team, Tech was 12-of-29 (41%) from behind the arc, with eight of those contributions courtesy of Ekh and King (four each). They were a combined 8-of-17 from three while Amoore was 3-of-7. Ekh had 14 while King had 13, and they each grabbed four rebounds.

The other 3-pointer came from Olivia Summiel, who scored five points and was pivotal on the glass with 12 boards. Virginia Tech nullified Syracuse, one of the best rebounding teams in the ACC, and won that battle 47-39.

“I thought Cayla King was phenomenal,” Brooks said. “Carleigh Wenzel had tremendous minutes in the beginning. Clara Strack gave us tremendous minutes. But I think the unheralded hero of the game is Olivia Summiel. She played 34 minutes and was an important cog because rebounding was the most important thing today and she came up with 12 of them. … She’s settling into a role and I really love the way she’s playing right now.”

Georgia Woolley (16 points) and Alaina Rice (14) joined Fair in double figures for the Orange while Kyra Wood matched Summiel with six points and 12 boards. ‘Cuse had six first-quarter turnovers, though, and didn’t lead after the first three minutes.

Though Tech’s lead ebbed and flowed, it answered when needed, none bigger than a 3-pointer from Ekh with 5:54 in the third which, to that point, was its first field goal in a 10-minutes span dating back to the first half. That sparked a 7-0 run, and Syracuse never drew closer than four points.

The Hokies are back in Blacksburg on Thursday when they host Virginia (10-10, 2-7 ACC) for the first of two matchups this season at 6 p.m. ET on the ACC Network. The Cavaliers beat No. 20 North Carolina on Sunday in Charlottesville by 15, 81-66.

At 7-2, Tech sits in a three-way tie for second in the ACC standings alongside North Carolina and Syracuse, just behind 7-1 Louisville.

Box Score: No. 19 Virginia Tech 75, No. 22 Syracuse 62

20 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I’m so glad to see the Wenzel’s improvement. It comes down to minutes, learning situations and coaching. 19 minutes, 8 rebs (including 4 off), 4 asst, 1 stl, 1 TO (I do think that was generous scoring on at least 2 questionable passes where TOs where scored to the receiver) against a top 25 opponent.
    It looks like things slowed down for Summiel, too. She’s learned the system and now is able to play with abandon. A month ago I’d bet few would think this win would happen without Kitley’s 20+ points.

  2. This team will have to continue to play zone against athletic teams. I know Coach prefers man vs zone but VT is not an athletic team apart from Amoore or Wenzel.
    Hope Liz got that out of her system. Never seen her play so poorly.

    1. Yeah, she never made an aggressive move towards the basket. All those misses were fadeaways. Some days you just don’t have it.

      1. It wasn’t just the misses… she had trouble just catching passes aven free throws. Something was off with her coordination… weird

    2. It’s weird b/c she was playing unconsciously against GT, one pass she got a little low and it’s like she just flicked it with her hand and it went in, Is it possible to play so well w/o thinking you totally lose the mental process that got you there? ‘course stuff just happens sometimes.

    3. When I was going to Tech, school was tough! I couldn’t understand how anyone could hold down a job or play in such a demanding sport while attending college. I know that the players’ class hours are scaled back during the season, but still…. Also, I was glad to see that the home team wasn’t playing “rugby defense” unlike what happened in the two previous away contests. Watching some of the other WBB games today, the teams guilty of playing that kind of defense against Tech, didn’t play that way today. So, hopefully, the league has cracked down on that nonsense!

  3. I’ll shut up after this, but Georgia needed the break, and the rest of the team needed to play w/o Georgia and both have helped this team. it’s just great watching the players get just a little bit better every week. The stat about Liz is insane.

  4. This team keeps getting better and better each game. Winning by 14 on the road without normal offensive production by Kitley was insane.

    Was Liz under the weather?

  5. Georgia tickles the heck out you as her jump shots seem like high rainbow shots that come down from the sky right through the basket. She’s something else!

    1. I was taught that way back when, makes a bigger target that way, but then it also has farther to go.

  6. It was the first time she did not record double-digit points [OR] rebounds in the same game since Dec. 4, 2022, at Tennessee, which Tech won 59-56.

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