Home Virginia Tech, without Elizabeth Kitley, survives Miami upset bid, winning 55-47

Virginia Tech, without Elizabeth Kitley, survives Miami upset bid, winning 55-47

Chris Graham
vt georgia amoore
Photo: ACC

Top seed Virginia Tech struggled without three-time ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, but the Hokies were able to take care of business, defeating Miami, 55-47, in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.

Tech coach Kenny Brooks confirmed before tipoff that Kitley, injured in the Hokies’ 80-75 loss at Virginia on Sunday, will not suit up at all in the ACC Tournament.

“First and foremost, her health and safety is everything that we’re worried about, and no basketball game or games or anything is going to supersede that,” Brooks told reporters after the game. “We’re going to make sure. We’re taking it slow. Rehab is going well. She’s diligently rehabbing. We made the decision, she will not play this tournament, regardless of how far we go.”

6’5” freshman Clara Strack filled in for Kitley in the post, and availed herself well – scoring 10 points (5-of-11 FG) and pulling down five rebounds in 27 minutes.

But it was point guard Georgia Amoore who strapped this team to her back and made sure Virginia Tech (24-6) advanced.

Amoore scored 27 points, 23 in the second half – shooting 7-of-14 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the line in the final 20 minutes.

But it was a slog for the Hokies, the defending ACC Tournament champs, who advanced to the 2023 Final Four after their conference run last spring.

Miami (19-12), a likely NCAA Tournament at-large team, trailed for most of the final 33:40, but the ‘Canes were able to hang around.

A Kyla Oldacre layup cut the Tech lead to one 39 seconds into the fourth, but that was when it became the Georgia Amoore Show.

Amoore hit a three at the 8:55 mark to extend the Hokies’ lead back to four, and she would go on to score 15 in the quarter, going 8-of-8 at the line in the final 1:08 to close things out.

The Hokies won despite shooting 33.9 percent (20-of-59) from the floor and 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from three.

“Super proud of my kids, the effort, the resiliency that they showed. Obviously as a coach, as a parent, sometimes you want to try to bring the positives out, and I told them I wasn’t going to do that today because I could have just said, it wasn’t pretty, but I just darned out told them that parts of it was ugly,” Brooks said.

“But in March, at this time of the year, it’s about surviving and advancing. We did that. Because of the resiliency, the way they went out, our kids didn’t play great, and we obviously know that we can play better, but they couldn’t have played harder. That’s something that I really value as a coach,” Brooks said.

“It’s not always going to be perfect, but if you have perfect intent then we can deal with that. Super proud of them. And Miami is a good basketball team. They’re going to be representing the ACC in the NCAA Tournament, so that was a very good win for us, so we’ll take it and we’ll move on.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].