BLACKSBURG — Georgia Amoore made Virginia Tech women’s basketball history Thursday night.
The junior point guard became the first Tech women’s basketball player to ever record a triple-double, helping the ninth-ranked Hokies squash fellow 2022 NCAA Tournament participant Nebraska 85-54 in an ACC-Big Ten Challenge clash at Cassell Coliseum.
Amoore had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Hokies (7-0).
“It feels really good,” she said. “I love being a Hokie and it’s good that my name’s … alongside with that.”
“It’s unbelievable,” coach Kenny Brooks said.
She snared her ninth rebound with 3:29 left and grabbed her 10th rebound with 52 seconds to go, giving her the triple-double.
“We had a timeout and everyone was like, ‘You need two more rebounds,’” she said. “So that’s when I knew [there was a shot].
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“Towards the end when I was edging [close] on rebounds they kind of just boxed out and kept their person from getting it and kind of let me just go and get it.”
Had Amoore ever had a triple-double in any previous level of basketball?
“No. I averaged like two assists [as a kid],” she said.
Amoore had never reached double figures in assists or rebounds before as a Hokie.
“She works harder than anyone else,” center Elizabeth Kitley said. “She completely had this in her the whole time. … She does not get out of the gym, so for her to have this game, she won’t say it, but she deserves it.”
“She struggled with shooting the basketball [recently],” Brooks said. “She could not make a shot [in practice Tuesday]. … She finally made one [in that practice] and she made a gesture to the basket and I won’t even tell you what it was.”
Amoore played all but 20 seconds of the game. Backup point guard Kayana Traylor missed the game with a non-COVID-19 illness.
Tech lost the services of another ball-handler during the game. Starting guard Ashley Owusu left the game in the final minute of the first quarter with a hand injury.
“The way that these kids handled [the adversity], they handled it with professionalism,” Brooks said.
The Hokies, who led from the opening basket, won their ACC-Big Ten Challenge game for the seventh straight year.
Virginia Tech finished 9-6 in its annual Challenge duels. This is the final season for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in men’s and women’s basketball.
Both Nebraska (5-3), which fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 earlier this season, and Tech boast a standout center.
Kitley had 24 points and 12 rebounds Thursday.
But Nebraska center Alexis Markowski, a 6-4 sophomore, had just seven points — about six points below her season average.
Markowski was 3 of 10 from the field. She made the the All-Big Ten second team last season, when she also was named the league’s freshman of the year.
“Being physical with her inside [helped],” Kitley said. “She’s a strong girl.”
Nebraska guard Jaz Shelley, who also made the All-Big Ten second team last season, was just 2 of 10 from the field. She was held to four points, about nine points below her season average.
The Cornhuskers shot just 33.9% from the field.
“This game proved even further how much we’ve been working on our defense,” Kitley said.
Taylor Soule had 18 points for the Hokies.
The Hokies jumped to an 18-6 lead with 1:46 left in the first quarter. Amoore had seven points in the run.
Virginia Tech shot 50% from the field in the first quarter to the visitors’ 25%. Tech led 21-8 after that quarter.
The Hokies led 55-42 entering the fourth.
After Amoore made a 3-pointer for the final points of the third quarter, the Hokies scored the first 17 points of the fourth quarter for a 20-0 run that extended the lead to 72-42 with 5:24 to go. Amoore, Kitley and Soule had all the points in the run.
Tech shot 71.4% (10 of 14) from the field in the fourth.
The Hokies will visit Tennessee (4-4), which dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 on Monday, for a Sunday game that will air on ESPN2. Tennessee beat Tech last year.