After completing a perfect four-game homestand, we all thought we saw the best the Virginia Tech Hokies had to offer.
Man, were we wrong.
In a night where the Hokies shot over 58 percent from the floor and 53 percent from behind the arc, they steamrolled the Orange en route to a 102-53 victory.
Elizabeth Kitley once again was a workhorse in the paint with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds, enough to notch her 12th double-double of the season and her first on the road since Jan. 13 against Duke.
Right out of the gates, the Hokies were feeling right at home by recording 30 points on 12-16 shooting. Aisha Sheppard, Georgia Amoore and Kitley had a large presence in the opening frame, contributing for 23 of the points and nine of the baskets.
Sheppard, who is closing in on the all-time scoring record for Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball, finished with 18 points on 6-11 shooting, with each shot attempt coming from deep.
After another double-figure performance, the Alexandria, Va. native now sits only eight points away from passing Renee Dennis at the 1791-point mark.
Coming off being named the ACC Co-Player of the Week, Amoore played another big role for Kenny Brooks’ side with a game-high six assists. She was not as aggressive in her shot selection on Thursday by only shooting the ball five times.
After a stellar first quarter showing, the Hokies kept things rolling through the later quarters with over 50 percent shooting in the second, and over the 60 percent mark again in the third.
Watching her fellow starters getting things going in the opening 10 minutes, Cayla King wanted in on the fun and tallied two three-pointers in the second quarter.
Heading into the break, the Orange must have thought they discovered the recipe to stopping Kitley, after holding her one of four in the second frame; but the junior center re-gained her presence and cashed in for 12 points on five of six shooting.
While this was a comfortable victory for the Hokies, we all got to witness the depth that this team holds.
Although sometimes a starter, Kayana Traylor displayed her defensive efforts with a team-high three steals and led all bench scorers with 14 points.
Over the previous weeks, D’Asia Gregg has seen an expanded role on this team and she delivered with a game-high 12 rebounds and season-best eight points.
For the first time in over a month, Taylor Geiman returned to the court for the Hokies and successfully converted on her only shot attempt of the night; her two points were the junior’s first points in the 2022 calendar year.
This result by the Hokies’ re-affirmed their status as one of the best teams in the ACC with their first 100-point showing in the 2021-22 season, while also not letting the “trap game” mentally get to their heads.
With two of their final three games coming against Top 5 programs, the Hokies could have had a hiccup in their venture to the Empire State, but the winning streak improves to five, their longest since the start of the season.
In addition to their winning streak staying alive, the conference win total has now reached 12 victories, which expands the already program-record for most ACC wins in a single season.
The next game will pose an extremely challenging task for the Hokies as they travel to the ACC's westernmost school to take on the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals for a 2 p.m. tip-off on the ACC Network.
The Cardinals were stunned early on Thursday night with a 66-65 defeat to No. 24 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. They will look to bounce back on their home court as they look to continue to battle for the top spot in the ACC standings with No. 5 N.C. State, who owns a game and a half lead.
Meanwhile for the Hokies, a win on Sunday would give themselves a huge boost in the ACC standings as they currently sit two games above No. 24 North Carolina and No. 16 Georgia Tech, who are tied for fifth place in the conference.