BLACKSBURG, Va. – No. 13 Virginia Tech opened its season in style with heavy doses of offense and defense in 101-45 victory over visiting Mount St. Mary’s.
The night started with the unveiling of a new banner in Cassell Coliseum--recognizing the Hokies appearance in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
While Elizabeth Kitley was shutdown due to solid defense from the opponents early, it meant someone would need to step up for the Hokies. That “someone” proved to be Cayla King. She scored 13 first half points and was automatic from beyond the arc. The Greensboro native drained nine three-pointers, a new program record for three-pointers made in a single game. She finished the night with a new career-high 33 points.
“I think honestly we just have so many threats on our team that they have to pick and choose who they want to guard and tonight they chose to guard Liz and it was my time to shoot,” King said. It was a promising performance from King who ended last season with injury issues with her ankle. In fact, the ankle sprain she suffered last season lingered all off-season and even into the start of preseason practices.
Reigning ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley still managed to score 18 points and fell just one rebound shy of a season-opening double-double.
Monday night also proved to be the debut of many new faces in Blacksburg--Ashley Owusu, Taylor Soule and Clara Ford. Owusu finished with 9 points, Soule added 14 points with 4 steals and 5 rebounds. Kayana Traylor added 11 points off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting.
Defensively, Virginia Tech held The Mount to just 27 percent shooting and blocked 7 of their shots.
“When we give each other energy and are communicating I think we’re one of the best defensive teams in the country honestly,” Soule said.
“I do know that it’s basketball and you’re not going to win every possession but there’s things to still work on and get better but I think that we are the type of team that can be a finesse team that can grind but we’re also physical when we need to be,” said Virginia Tech head women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks.
Up next, No. 13 Virginia Tech will host Bucknell at 7 p.m. on Friday.