By Marty Gordon
Virginia Tech’s women’s basketball team won their first championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Sunday by defeating Louisville 75-67 Sunday at Greensboro Coliseum and is now headed to the 2023 NCAA basketball tournament, possibly as a number one seed. But that will not be known until the seedings are announced later this week.
This is the Lady Hokies’ third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. VT head coach Kenny Brooks and the Hokies will be part of the live broadcast of the NCAA Selection Show from Cassell Coliseum on Sunday, March 12.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the event beginning at 7:30. The Selection Show will air live on ESPN at 8 p.m.
Coach Brooks and his team will host NCAA action in Blacksburg for the first time since 2004. The Hokies are expected to be playing at home during the postseason.
In the finals against Louisville, Georgia Amoore collected 25 points and Elizabeth Kitley added 20 to lead the Hokies to the tournament crown and the clinching of an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.
The Hokies (27-4) entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and defeated Miami (Fla.), Duke and Louisville enroute to the league tournament championship. Tech’s defense was fantastic yet again, holding Louisville shooters to only 37.3 percent from the field.
The Hokies never trailed after taking a 21-14 first-quarter lead. Amoore, Kitley, and Taylor Soule combined to account for 77 percent of the Hokies’ points.
Virginia Tech had a 35-34 edge on the boards in the win and got a team-high seven rebounds from Cayla King.
Amoore made 14 three-pointers during Tech’s three games in Greensboro, setting a new tournament record and clinching tournament MVP honors.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced the five finalists for the 2023 Lisa Leslie Award, and for the second straight season, Elizabeth Kitley was a finalist.
Named after three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year, and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie, the annual award in its sixth year recognizes the top centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
The other four finalists are Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana), Monika Czinano (Iowa), Jessika Carter (Mississippi State), and Aliyah Boston (South Carolina).
Kitley was named the ACC’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, the conference office announced Tuesday evening. She became the tenth woman in ACC history to win the award in consecutive seasons.
The Summerfield, North Carolina, native ranks fourth in the conference in scoring per game (18.78), second in field-goal percentage (.569), first in rebounds per game (10.74), first in blocks per game (2.3), first in double-doubles (18) and is the only athlete in the conference to record a 20-rebound game.
She won ACC-Player-of-the-Week honors four times, the most of any athlete, including each of the last two weeks as she has recorded four consecutive 20-point double-doubles while shooting 60.2% from the field.