GREENSBORO — Virginia Tech earned its first trip to the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game with a 58-37 blowout win over Duke on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies will face Louisville on Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Devils, who finished second in the ACC this season, did not bring their offense on their two-day trip to Greensboro. A day after grinding out a 44-40 win over UNC, the Blue Devils set an ACC Tournament record for fewest points in a game with 37. Entering the day, the record was 39, set by Duke in 1978 and matched by Virginia Tech in 2013. Notre Dame broke the mark, scoring 38 against Louisville in the first game of the day.
Tech built an 18-point lead at the half, scoring the last 17 points of the second quarter, and cruised to the victory.
“We just were not disciplined in our scheme,” said Duke coach Kara Lawson. “We gave them clean looks at threes, which was not the game plan. They made us pay. That was it in that stretch. Just losing people, not having an awareness, not being in airspace when they catch it. And they’re too good to give them those shots that are open. The lion’s share of those happened before the break, before halftime, and it’s unfortunate because we dug ourselves quite a hole there at half because of not being disciplined guarding the three.”
Tech hit six of its first seven 3-point attempts and was led by Georgia Amoore, who hit 6 of 8 from beyond the arc on her way to a game-high 24 points.
“It’s almost like get Georgia the ball,” said teammate Cayla King. “When she’s feeling it, she just has a different look on her face. I feel like every time the ball leaves her hands, it’s going in the goal, and I think everyone on the team has that same feeling.”
“I think when she’s making her 3-point shot like that it’s really hard to guard her because she’s obviously quick and can get downhill, and so you’re having to guard both things at the same time,” said Lawson. “So I thought her ability to make shots tonight was really the difference maker. To go 6 for 8 from three was — she was the only double-figure scorer on her team, so she really led them to the victory.”
Duke will now wait to find out its seeding, venue and opponent for the NCAA Tournament, while looking to regain its offensive firepower which got lost on the way to Greensboro.
“We’ve been a good offensive team at times this year, and obviously here lately the last few weeks, we’ve been inconsistent,” said Lawson. “The only way I know how to change the inconsistency to consistency is to work on it. If you know another way, let me know. “