Let me set some expecatations here, Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball had maybe a 2% chance of beating #19 Virginia Tech. The Hokies had won 20 straight home games and were averaging about a 20-point win margin in ACC games this season. Tonight was no different, as the Hokies beat Georgia Tech 87-69 for their 21st straight home win. The Jackets are now 13-7 on the season, 4-4 in ACC play.
Facing GT’s extremely young team, VT’s preseason All-ACC Elizabeth Kitley was not, and did not, have any trouble producing. After a perfect shooting first quarter that put VT a 15 point lead, she finished with 29 points and nine rebounds on 13-20 shooting.
The problem for GT extended to Virginia Tech as a whole. Georgia Amoore (24pts, 13 assists) also put up big numbers and Olivia Summiel shot a perfect 5-5 from the field with 12 points. The Hokies noticeably bigger size made a difference, as they outrebounded the Jackets 37-25.
Kayla Blackshear went out late in the second quarter with an injury, the only quarter Tech won all night. Her absence near the basket was truly missed.
On the bright side, despite the whole fourth quarter essentially being garbage time, Tonie Morgan’s 12 4th quarter points got her to 26 in the game, her career high by six points.
Elizabeth Kitley quickly got the Hokies ahead, scoring eight of VT’s first 16 points to give them a 16-6 lead in the front half of the quarter. Six of GT’s first 10 shots were by Morgan, mostly trying to get layups but struggled getting around the Hokies’ size. Kitley ended up making all eight of her shots, including a buzzer beater on an inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds to shoot, finishing a perfect 8-8 shooting quarter with 16 points. Rus Augustinaite hit a three as soon as she entered the game, but not until the Jacket deficit was already 14.
2nd Quarter (28-13 VT)
Tech managed to temporarily bring the lead below 10 after Morgan converted a three point play and Rus Augustinaite drained a three to make it 30-21 VT. The Hokies quickly went on a 5-0 run to restore the double-digit lead at 35-21 with just over five minutes remaining. Augusutinaite then came up slightly hobbling in her right leg but able to play through it for a minute after a sinking a floater, coming off the court once play was stopped.
A couple minutes later after Tech pulled within 10 points again, Kayla Blackshear looked to slip while backing down against the basket, doing something to her left leg that caused her to have to leave the game. She did not end up returning to the action but did make it back to the bench after halftime.
Kara Dunn hit two free throws to shrink VT’s lead to seven at 42-35, but the Hokies again quickly grabbed the double-digit lead back with a Georgia Amoore buzzer beater.
Despite shooting 50%, 2-3 from three, and only four turnovers in the half, the inability to stop Kitley was a massive problem keeping Tech away from a potential lead.
3rd Quarter (46-35 VT)
Augustinaite started the second half after her knack in the previous quarter. Both teams started ice cold in the second half to the 3:38 media break. Georgia Tech missed their first eight field goals and only made three free throws. Virginia Tech shot 3-8 with four misses by Kitley to take a 57-38 lead.
Termis broke the Jacket scoreless run with a three before Augustinaite made back to back fadeaway jumpers, Tech’s only field goals in the quarter.
4th Quarter (63-45 VT)
Tonie hit a driving layup to start the quarter, but it did not bring the necessary momentum needed to go on a run to make the game competitive. The garbage time quarter relaxed Virginia Tech’s defense enough to where she was able to cruise to her 26 point total.
Points: Elizabeth Kitley (VT) - 29
Assists: Georgia Amoore (VT) - 13
Rebounds: Elizabeth Kitley (VT)/Olivia Summiel (VT) - 9
Turnovers: Tonie Morgan (GT) - 3
- Kayla Blackshear’s injury: I don’t have info at the moment of what the diagnosis is, and that most likely will be taken care of tomorrow when the team is back in Atlanta. This would be a huge gap for Tech though if she’s out for any amount of time, as she’s one of Tech’s most important rebounders, bringing down 6.5 a game and averaging the most minutes of any Jacket with 31.9 minutes. Her absence was clearly felt in the second half as Virginia Tech pretty much had their way with the Jackets from that point on.
- Road Issues: Tech is now 3-4 on the road this season, the last two losses being massive blowouts by the time the fourth quarter got going. Sure there’s a million reasons why this game in particular was barely going to be competitive, but they are good enough to not get embarassed. Kitley’s perfect 8-8 shooting in the fourth I think qualifies as an embarassing defensive effort. That just cannot happen.
- Why do we keep playing Aranaz? I know Tech likes to use Aranaz for size, but the fact she only played three minutes to start the game is telling. Having seen her regularly get beat down low and not rebound, I don’t get why starting her over Termis was going to be the best play against Kitley and the rest of VT’s weapons. Termis ended up playing 25 minutes to Aranaz’s seven, and needs to develop as she very well could be the starting center next season. Why not start now?
Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball next plays Sunday, January 28 against #23 Florida State at 4 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.
Jack Purdy is a non-revenue sports writer and co-host of Scions of the Southland for From the Rumble Seat. He previously served as The Technique’s assistant sports editor before graduating Georgia Tech in 2022. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackNicolaus