Virginia Tech beats Duke 78-75, snaps 7-game slide

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BLACKSBURG, Va. – Grant Basile scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half, Sean Pedulla had 16 points and five assists and Virginia Tech beat Duke 78-75 on Monday night to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Virginia Tech (12-8, 2-7 ACC) hadn’t won since topping Grambling on Dec. 17. The Hokies are now 5-1 in their last six match-ups with Duke at Cassell Coliseum.

After a timeout with 35.3 seconds remaining, Virginia Tech dribbled down the clock before Michael Collins Jr. made a jumper from the free-throw line for a 77-75 lead. Duke’s Tyrese Proctor was short on an open 3-pointer and Collins was fouled. Collins made 1 of 2 at the line with 3.9 seconds to cap the scoring.

Duke attempted a half-court pass, but Virginia Tech guard Hunter Cattoor intercepted it and ran out the clock.

Cattoor finished with 15 points, on five 3-pointers, and two steals for Virginia Tech. Collins had six points.

Kyle Filipowski scored a career-high 29 and recorded his 10th double-double this season with 10 rebounds for Duke (14-6, 5-4). Proctor and Dariq Whitehead added 10 points apiece. Whitehead missed most of the second half with an apparent leg injury and was on crutches at the end of the game with a wrap around his lower left leg.

Duke went four-plus minutes without a field goal late in the second half, making just two of its final 10 shots. Proctor drained a 3-pointer with 38.9 seconds left, snapping a string of six misses from distance for Duke, to tie it at 75-all.

Both teams play again on Saturday. Virginia Tech hosts Syracuse and Duke plays at Georgia Tech.

Clemson, Robinson surprise No. 7 Virginia Tech 64-59

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Amari Robinson caught the final inbounds pass, threw the ball high in the air and screamed as time ran out on Clemson’s biggest win in more than two decades.

Robinson had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Clemson beat No. 7 Virginia Tech 64-59 on Thursday night for its first victory against a top-10 opponent since 2000.

The Hokies (11-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) cut a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to 58-57 with 3:14 to go, but couldn’t overcome the Tigers (10-4, 1-1).

“I think I almost feel like I had two heart attacks,” Robinson, a senior, said. “This is the greatest team win, the greatest feeling.”

Especially when Clemson had struggled against the game’s best this season. It was blown out by No. 1 South Carolina 85-31 last month, and then lost 77-59 to No. 6 North Carolina State to start ACC play two weeks ago.

After losing to the Wolfpack, Robinson said the team’s motivation was playing a complete game the way they had much of the season.

“We just finished this out playing the way we know how to play,” she said.

It was Clemson’s first win against a top-10 school since a 72-61 victory against then-No. 9 Auburn on Dec. 21, 2000. The Tigers’ last such ACC win happened a few weeks earlier that same season, 93-75 over then-No. 3 Duke on Dec. 3.

Ruby Whitehorn scored 13 points for the Tigers, including three free throws in the final 20 seconds. Daisha Bradford had 12, and Hannah Hank finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Cayla King had 15 points and five 3-pointers in Virginia Tech’s second loss in three games. Georgia Amoore scored 14 points, and reigning ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley had 14 points and six rebounds.

Virginia Tech, once down 43-28, closed to 58-57 on D’asia Gregg’s 3-pointer with 3:14 to play.

Trailing 59-57, Tech had a chance to tie it up, but Kayana Traylor had the ball stolen by Bradford, who was fouled and made both free throws with 46 seconds to go.

Hokies coach Kenny Brooks said his players got stagnant when Clemson changed to zone defense after starting in man to man.

“We got to the point where it kind of snowballed. We had some good looks, we just didn’t knock them down,” he said. “Then our kids got kind of tight.”

The Tigers outrebounded Virginia Tech 21-16 the first 20 minutes. Kitley, who collected 27 boards the past two games, had none in the first 20 minutes.

Brooks said Kitley had to play more like the high-profile player she is. He thought she passed out of shots – Kitley took just seven shots – too often when the Hokies needed points.

“It was a myriad of things,” Brooks said. “We just didn’t play well at all.”

THE BIG PICTURE

Virginia Tech: The Hokies have put themselves in a early hole in the ACC race with No. 13 North Carolina coming up next. Traylor, who had been averaging 13 points a game, was held to two points and missed all nine of her shots from the field.

Clemson: The Tigers had won six of seven coming in, led by the combo of Robinson and freshman Whitehorn. If Clemson continues playing like this, it’ll be a dangerous foe for the rest of the ACC.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Virginia Tech might not slide very much in the AP poll if it can beat the ranked Tar Heels on Sunday. If the Hokies lose again, it could be a long fall when the next rankings come out.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech plays No. 13 North Carolina at home on Sunday.

Clemson ends a three-game homestand against Wake Forest on Sunday.

No. 7 Virginia Tech posts 9th straight win, beats Boston College 73-58

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BOSTON — Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Elizabeth Kitley had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Cayla King scored 16 on Wednesday night to lead No. 7 Virginia Tech to a 73-58 victory over Boston College, the Hokies’ ninth straight win.

Taylor Soule, one of two BC transfers on the roster for Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC), added nine points and five rebounds. Soule scored more than 1,500 points and grabbed almost 700 rebounds in four seasons at BC, earning All-ACC honors three times.

Andrea Daley scored 15 points and Maria Gakdeng scored 14 for BC (7-4, 0-1). They each grabbed six rebounds.

Virginia Tech scored 17 of the game’s first 21 points and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before BC cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Leading 64-54 with under three minutes left and the shot clock expiring, Kayana Traylor hit a 3-pointer for the Hokies.

Gakdeng missed two free throws for BC, and then Kitley scored from inside to make it a 15-point game.

Clara Ford, who also played four years in Chestnut Hill, pitched in 2 points in 2 minutes against her former team.

BIG PICTURE

At No. 7, the Hokies have the highest ranking in the program’s history. With the victory over BC, a 10th straight win against North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday would leave Virginia Tech in position to move up even higher should a top five team falter.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: Hosts North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.

Boston College: Hosts Albany on Saturday.

No. 11 Virginia Tech women beat Kentucky 82-74

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NASSAU, Bahamas – Elizabeth Kitley scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help No. 11 Virginia Tech beat Kentucky 82-74 on Monday.

Kitley, the reigning ACC player of the year, secured her third double-double of the season to help Virginia Tech (4-0) open with four straight wins for the seventh straight year.

Ashley Owusu scored the first six points of a 24-4 run to close the first quarter for a 29-8 lead. Kitley scored eight points in the second quarter as Virginia Tech led 44-23, and she added nine points in the third.

Owusu finished with 16 points, Taylor Soule had 15 points and seven boards, and Georgia Amoore scored 14 points for Virginia Tech.

Jada Walker had 17 points and five steals for Kentucky (4-1). Robyn Benton added 13 points and Ajae Petty scored 12.

On Wednesday, the Hokies will face Missouri – with the only other meeting coming in the 2006 NCAA Tournament – while Kentucky plays Dayton.

No. 14 Virginia Tech women set record in win over SC Upstate

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BLACKSBURG, Va. – Kayana Traylor scored 17 points off the bench to lead five in double figures and No. 14 Virginia Tech set the school record for fewest points allowed, blowing out South Carolina Upstate 79-24 on Monday night.

Virginia Tech players wore (hash)HokiesForHoos shirts to show support for the University of Virginia, where three members of the football team were shot to death on Sunday night.

It took the Hokies nearly three minutes to get the game’s first points, but there were few other problems. The Hokies led 20-5 after one quarter and 36-9 at halftime. The 24 points allowed lowered the school record of 30 that was set against Furman in 2015.

Elizabeth Kitley had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hokies (3-0). Taylor Soule contributed 10 points, six rebounds and four assists, Georgia Amoore had 11 points and Ashley Owusu scored 10.

Isabella Geraci led the Spartans (1-2) with six points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

The Hokies are one of five ACC teams ranked in this week’s Associated Press Top 25, behind No. 6 Louisville, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 10 North Carolina State and No. 13 North Carolina.

Virginia Tech’s women’s basketball twitter feed shared a post from the university’s athletic department that read in part, “On behalf of Virginia Tech athletics, our coaches, staff and student-athletes our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of the victims of last night’s tragedy… We are one team, one family, one Commonwealth.”

Boston, Clark headline AP women’s All-America team

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Aliyah Boston of South Carolina and Caitlin Clark of Iowa were unanimous picks for The Associated Press preseason women’s basketball All-America team.

Boston led South Carolina to its second national championship and swept nearly ever major award last season. Expectations are high once again for the top-ranked Gamecocks and Boston, who was on all 30 ballots from the national media panel that selects the AP Top 25 each week.

“I don’t think all the awards define who she is but also puts her in a position of she’s in a more relaxed mode because she accomplished those things. She’s still in a place of hunger,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “She still wants to be the best. When you’ve proven that at such an early stage of your career, you want more and more. She’s entered a phase of wanting more yet is confident in who she is, since she was able to accomplish it.”

Seniors Haley Jones of Stanford, Ashley Joens of Iowa State and Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech were also selected for the team as was sophomore Aneesah Morrow of DePaul.

Boston, who averaged 16.8 points and 12.4 rebounds, and Clark were both on the preseason team last year. Clark followed up a fantastic first season with an even better one as a sophomore, averaging 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Hawkeyes, who are ranked fourth in the preseason poll for their best mark since 1994.

“She worked on a little bit more emotional control in her leadership. I think that’s really important,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “You want those officials to be your best friends let’s treat them like that.”

Bluder also said Clark has added some post moves to her game: “That may sound silly with Monika (Czinano) on the block. She’s almost 5-foot-10 and no reason she can’t post up. She’s looking for that a lot more.”

Joens opted to stay at Iowa State for another year, passing up a chance to enter the WNBA draft. She averaged 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds last season and is the first preseason All-American in school history.

“This is a great honor for Ashley and the entire Iowa State program,” coach Bill Fennelly said. “To be recognized with such a great group of players is an outstanding accomplishment. I know she will continue to work hard to play at an All-American level this season.”

Jones helped Stanford go 32-4 before falling to UConn in the Final Four. She averaged 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Cardinal. Last season, coach Tara VanDerveer called her star the “Magic Johnson of women’s basketball.”

Kitley had a stellar year, averaging 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Hokies. Her return is a big reason why the team is ranked No. 13 in the preseason, its best mark since the final poll of 1999 when the school was also 13th.

She is the first player from the school to be honored as a preseason All-American.

“She’s the hardest working kid I’ve been around,” Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said. ‘If she doesn’t do something, she has FOMO (fear of missing out). She’s added so much to her game to make us the best we can be. My responsibility is to prepare her for the next level.”

Morrow had an incredible first season, averaging 21.9 points and 13.5 rebounds for the Blue Demons. She is the first DePaul player to earn preseason honors since Latasha Byears did it in 1995.

“She earns it through her daily work ethic and competitiveness,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said of Morrow.

All six players were honored last spring on the AP All-America teams. Boston, Clark and Jones were on the first team while Joens and Morrow were on the second. Kitley made the third team.

The AP started choosing a preseason All-America team before the 1994-95 season.

The Associated Press’ 2022-23 preseason All-America women’s basketball team, with school, height, year and votes from a 30-member national media panel (key 2021-22 statistics in parentheses):

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina, 6-5, senior, 30 of 30 votes (16.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg.)

Caitlin Clark, Iowa, 6-0, junior, 30 of 30 votes (27.0 ppg, 8.0 apg, 8.0 rpg)

Haley Jones, Stanford, 6-1, senior 28 of 30 votes (13.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.7 apg)

Ashley Joens, Iowa State, 6-1, senior, 24 of 30 votes (20.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.0 apg)

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, 6-6, senior, 9 of 30 votes (18.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.4 bpg)

Aneesah Morrow, DePaul, 6-1, sophomore, 9 of 30 votes (21.9 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 3.0 spg)

Others receiving votes: Cameron Brink, Stanford; Rori Harmon, Texas; Hailey Van Lith, Louisville; Olivia Miles, Notre Dame; Angel Reese, LSU; Maddy Siegrist, Villanova; Azzi Fudd, UConn; Jade Loville, Arizona; Jordan Horston, Tennessee; Deja Kelly, North Carolina; Tamari Key, Tennessee.