Home VT women’s hoops bounce back with impressive, narrow 68-65 win over UNC

VT women’s hoops bounce back with impressive, narrow 68-65 win over UNC

Roger Gonzalez
Virginia Tech women’s basketbal
Logo: Virginia Tech Athletics

It may have just been the first game of the new year, falling on New Year’s Day, but the women’s basketball clash between North Carolina and Virginia Tech on Sunday had plenty of meaning.

Both top 15 programs in the country, both reeling from what had been a very poor stretch. 13th-ranked Carolina had lost to Michigan and Florida State, looking to escape Blacksburg with a victory and not a three-game losing streak. The Hokies, ranked No. 7, had lost their last two ACC contests to Notre Dame and Clemson and were also deperate to get back on track.

“This group is older,” Tech coach Kenny Brooks said after the game. “We handle things differently. We did not play well on Thursday, they recognized it, took accountability. They’re old enough where I can tell them the truth, and the truth I said, ‘You know, the narrative at 6 o’clock was going to be that, they are going to say one team had a really bad week and one team bounced back and had a win. Ironically I walked in at 5:59.”

It was with good news. Tech was able to hold off UNC with a tight 68-65 victory to move to 12-2 overall and 2-2 in the ACC. Carolina dropped to 9-4 and 0-2 in the ACC.

Georgia Amoore’s 24 points led the way for Tech, finding some offensive stability after scoring 10 points or less in three of their last eight quarters. There was no problem on Sunday, scoring at least 15 in every quarter.

“Really good win for us,” Brooks said.

“The rivalry that we have for them is a healthy rivarly. It’s a lot of fun for the fans. We love playing in it, I think they love playing in it.

“We didn’t always play perfect, but we played hard.
“Obviously, Thursday [at Clemson] was a wake-up call. We lost a little bit of confidence. And then we came back … They just took accountability and knew what they had to do and stepped up.

Playing against a zone for the last 80 minutes, the team has had to make adjustments and found a way on Sunday. Tech hit 12 of its 31 attempts from deep with Amoore hitting six of them.

Carolina went after All-America Elizabeth Kitley to try and force Tech to shoot from deep, and it worked out. Kitley may have scored just 13 points and had seven rebounds, off her average of 18 and 11, but the second-best shooting performance from deep paced the victors in a much-needed victory.

“We are trying to figure it out, we are trying to figure out different ways,” Brooks said.

“I thought Georgia was phenomenal all game long.

“She’s playing like the best player on the floor, and when she is playing like that, we are hard to beat.”

Moore also had six assists while Cayla King had 12 points and eight rebounds. D’asia Gregg had 11 points and 10 boards off the bench.

Tech return to the court on Thursday against Virginia (13-1).

“Very proud of them. This group is older. We handle things differently. We did not play well on Thursday. They recognized it, took accountability. They are old enough where I can tell them the truth …

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez is freelancer for Augusta Free Press. A native of Connecticut that grew up in Charlottesville, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He currently is a sportswriter with CBS Sports and has written for The Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times and other newspapers before getting into the digital sports journalism world.