Just 47 seconds into a pivotal ACC matchup, Florida State head coach Brooke Wyckoff called timeout. Why?
Because Virginia Tech wing Cayla King hit a transition three-pointer to put the Hokies up 6-0. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, Tech would not stop there.
In fact, the trey from King would be one of eight the Hokies made in the first quarter. Tech shot 8-of-11 from deep, and 12-of-19 from the field in the first to jump out to an incredible 34-11 lead in front of the Cassell Guard end of the floor.
“In case anybody was wondering, I was the three-point shooting coach in the first quarter,” said Hokies head coach Kenny Brooks jokingly after the game.
No. 11 Virginia Tech (20-4, 10-4) would cruise after their explosive first in which they shot the nets off to take down No. 19 Florida State (20-7, 9-5) 84-70 in a résumé boosting win for the Hokies.
Tech star Elizabeth Kitley, who is on nearly every award watchlist you can think of, got into foul trouble early, and was not a huge factor for most of the game, which meant it was up to the supporting cast in this game, and they stepped up.
The standout performer was clearly Georgia Amoore, who passed the thousand career point mark in the first quarter. The Hokie guard ended the game with 25 points and nine assists, shooting 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, showcasing why she’s one of the best in the nation.
“There’s no stopping her,” said forward Taylor Soule regarding Amoore’s performance. “I’m very lucky to have a point guard and teammate in Georgia, when she’s playing confident…when she’s running the team the way she does on both ends of the floor, helps us out tremendously, helps me out. I don’t know how she does some of the stuff she does out there.”
Soule herself had an outstanding performance on the day. The Boston College transfer dominated the interior, putting up 18 to go along with four boards.
One of the things that stood out about Soule is her energy. Throughout the game, the former all-ACC forward was leading her teammates, and pumping up the crowd. It’s almost as if this is her fifth year of college basketball.
King and Kitley joined the duo in double figures, with Kayana Traylor adding eight of her own. One player that really stepped up was D’asia Gregg, grabbing 12 boards and putting up nine points with Kitley in foul trouble.
“She’s been playing great, she’s like our sixth starter and she knows her role, accepts it, and executes it very, very well. She’s a big part of what we’re doing and she’s been playing great as of late…the only reason she doesn’t start is because we can’t start six people,” said Brooks.
The Hokies did a great job on Seminole star Ta’Niya Latson, who averages over 22 points per game, holding the freshman guard to just 5-of-15 from the field.
Virginia Tech is currently running the gauntlet in the ACC. The Hokies took down No.22 NC State on the road Monday for the first time in program history, beat another ranked opponent in FSU today, and will face No.9 Duke who sits atop the ACC on Thursday.
The Hokies are tied with Louisville for third in the ACC, and the first national top-16 reveal has Tech as a four seed, meaning Cassell Coliseum would host March Madness games. Wins like this boost the Hokies even higher up those rankings and make their odds of hosting NCAA Tournament games even more likely, something that would mean a lot for this team, the fanbase, and Blacksburg as a whole.
“It would mean the absolute world for Blacksburg,” said Amoore. “I think it would mean a lot for the community and for us, it helps us a lot. The Cassell Guard, it’s so hard to win on the road…we just gotta keep doing what we’re doing to ensure that happens.”