For a team that has some high expectations this season, the Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball team have lived up to them so far as they took care of business and completed their two-game road trip up to the DMV with a 81-52 victory over the George Mason Patriots.
In what was another big performance from junior Elizabeth Kitley, the center recorded her first double-double of the season with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The Summerfield, N.C. native led the Hokies in both categories while also shooting a team-best 11 of 17 from the floor and collecting four blocks.
Before the opening tip, Kenny Brooks made his first change to the starting lineup this year as he brought in Liberty transfer Emily Lytle to the starting five.
The Memphis native did not disappoint as she recorded season-highs with 26 minutes and 13 points with three of her buckets coming from behind the arc, her first three-point conversions on the year.
It was a successful afternoon from downtown for the Hokies who shot 13 of 29 from deep, but no one was better at it than Cayla King, who buried five of the Hokies’ three-pointers.
The junior guard’s 15 points was a new-season high for the Greensboro, N.C. native while also being one of four Hokies to reach double figures along with Aisha Sheppard, who dropped 16 points on the Patriots.
Virginia Tech’s 81 points sits now as the best offensive performance of the young season and now makes it three games that the Hokies have reached 75 or more points in a single game. Although not shooting to the performance that they had at George Washington on Nov. 11, the Hokies still shot 47.8 percent from the floor against the Patriots.
The offensive rebounding was an underrated aspect of the Hokies’ performance on Sunday as they hauled in 13 rebounds on the offensive end, almost doubling the production that they did in their first two games of the season.
Being their third game in five days, there were times early in the contest where the Hokies had to fight for the lead. And with six minutes left of the second quarter, the Patriots proved to be a true test when they brought themselves within three points of Virginia Tech.
Instead of calling a timeout, Brooks let the team on the floor figure out how to get out of the situation they fell into, and it turned out to be the stretch the Hokies needed to cement a comfortable lead by going on a 17-0 run led by six points from Kitley and King each.
Coming into the season being the first Virginia Tech team to be ranked in the AP Preseason Top 25 Poll since 1999, it puts a large target on your back, and this experienced squad has done an excellent job to fight through the adversity and wrap up the opening week with a 3-0 record against three opponents from one of the best mid-major conferences in the country, the Atlantic 10.
Up next for the Hokies is a return to Cassell Coliseum where they will have a little two-game homestand starting with 7 p.m. tip-off against Coppin State on Wednesday, Nov. 17th.