With 8:55 remaining in the third quarter, the Virginia Tech Hokies were enjoying a 22-point advantage over the No. 11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. As much as the contest felt over at the time, that wasn’t the case down the stretch.
After an 11-0 Georgia Tech run in the fourth quarter, Kenny Brooks and Co. saw their lead dwindle all the way down to five. That’s when Georgia Amoore hit another clutch triple to put the game out of reach.
“Coach Brooks and I shot this morning,” Amoore said. “I think that gives me the confidence going into the game. Just knowing that when I’m open and knocking it down… it’s just crucial… the more we hit those, the more their defense softens up.”
Thanks in part to Amoore in their toughest task of the four-game homestand, Virginia Tech delivered a statement result as they took down No. 11 Georgia Tech, 73-63.
Amoore posted a team-high 21 points and was the most accurate shooter all night, converting seven of 11 from the floor including five of six from behind the arc.
The Australian native carried the workload down the stretch hitting buckets at the right time, whereas Elizabeth Kitley got the Hokies going at the opening tip.
“We came out super focused and we came out with a lot of confidence,” Kitley said. “We didn’t come into this with any sort of fear or doubt in our team.”
Going 0-2 from the floor two nights ago against Clemson, the junior center showed her strength in the opening frame by recording 10 points on five of eight shooting.
In addition to Kitley’s offense that got the game going, the defense set the tone by forcing three Georgia Tech turnovers in the first five possessions.
“People don’t talk about our defense enough,” Brooks said. “We wanted to show everybody we were just as good defensively [as Georgia Tech].”
Kenny Brooks has been praising his defense all season long, and tonight each one of his players came down with a board on the defensive end while forcing 10 turnovers in total.
Georgia Tech came into tonight’s contest with the No. 1 scoring defense in the ACC, only allowing 47.6 PPG, but they struggled to stop the Hokies at any spot on the floor.
After Kitley’s dominance in the first quarter on low, the Hokies quickly turned to the three-point shooting and they found their stroke in nearly every situation.
There was not one quarter in tonight’s contest where the Hokies shot below 50 percent from the floor and behind the arc, which demonstrated how in control they were for all 40 minutes.
For Aisha Sheppard, she continues to look like she’s finding herself on the court as she recorded double figures for her third consecutive game, the longest streak for her in conference play this season.
In the second quarter, the graduate student fired up a three-pointer from the right wing and connected, and when the ball went through the nylon, Sheppard once again moved up in record books as she now sits No. 2 in the Virginia Tech All-Time Scoring List, surpassing Tere Williams.
With her 12-point performance on Thursday, Sheppard now sits 39 points back from the all-time record which is currently held by Renee Dennis, who sits at 1791 career points.
With three games in five days, it is no easy task for any program to go perfect through the stretch, but Kenny Brooks’ squad has, even though they are feeling some of the effects.
“I’m very proud of them and the way they’ve handled it,” Brooks said. “The maturity to be able to bounce back and come out and be professional… They’ll enjoy it tonight and we’ll get back at it tomorrow and get ready for North Carolina.”
Fortunately for the Hokies, they will have two full days off before they welcome another ranked team to Cassell Coliseum, the No. 23 North Carolina Tar Heels, on Sunday at 1 p.m. That contest will close out a four-game homestand for the Hokies, before they hit the road one last time for a two-game road trip.