BLACKSBURG, Va. – Slow start. Lousy finish. That’s the recipe for a blowout defeat, as the Nebraska women’s basketball team lost 85-54 at No. 9 Virginia Tech.
The Huskers (5-3) trailed 21-8 after one quarter and leaned on Isabelle Bourne (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Annika Stewart (10 points) to stay within 13 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Virginia Tech (7-0) then kicked off the final ten minutes with 15-0 run fueled by point guard Georgia Amoore — who recorded the school’s first triple double with 24 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds — and reigning ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Hokies outscored the Huskers 30-12 in the fourth quarter.
“They were really a lot to handle,” NU coach Amy Williams said on her postgame radio show. “Just a disappointing game for our team. I thought Georgia Amoore was really special tonight and obviously Elizabeth Kitley is the player of the year in the ACC for a reason – just a tough handle.
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“I thought we got a little bit out-toughed and that’s just disappointing to see.”
NU shot 34% from the field and 30% (6 for 20) from 3-point range. The Huskers were without guard Sam Haiby — who’s still rehabbing a knee injury — and lost starter Trinity Brady due to an elbow to her head. But Virginia Tech was missing two of its starters, too, in Ashley Owusu (hand) and Kayana Traylor, which meant Amoore and Kitley played 40 and 38 minutes, respectively.
In its last-ever game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Nebraska stayed within 9-6 three minutes into the game. The Hokies went on a 12-2 run to end the quarter, with Virginia Tech guard Cayla King making two 3-pointers in the stretch.
Stewart, one of two Huskers in double digits, scored all 10 of her points in the second quarter, as Nebraska got within eight points twice and ended the half trailing 35-24. But NU never got much closer.
The fourth quarter started with nine straight points from Amoore and Kitley. NU didn’t score until the 5:09 mark with Maddie Krull’s reverse layup. By then, Nebraska trailed by 28. Amoore grabbed the triple-double-clinching rebound in the final minute.
“To start that fourth quarter, it just felt like we got a couple of good looks down low and just didn’t make them,” Williams said. “And then I thought we kind of just tightened up and lost belief and just didn’t kind of stay with what got us there.”
Nebraska heads Sunday to No. 20 Maryland, which beat No. 7 Notre Dame in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.