It was a game where nothing went right. Syracuse Orange women’s basketball suffered a comprehensive, crushing 102-53 to the No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies inside the very unfriendly confines of the Carrier Dome on Thursday night.
Like Florida State two nights ago, the Hokies’ size proved to be a tough matchup. Unlike Tuesday night, Syracuse couldn’t hang in on the defensive end, giving up a season-high 102 points to the Hokies.
The 49-point margin of defeat is the largest margin of defeat suffered by the Orange since their move to the ACC ahead of the 2013-14 season.
The Hokies shot 36-of-62 (58 percent) from the field and drained 14-of-26 from three, utilizing an inside-out approach. The ridiculous numbers meant Syracuse needed to somehow find a way to match their visitors from the floor. The Orange couldn’t even come close.
Syracuse shot 30 percent from the floor and 9-of-28 from three. The Orange were overmatched and let a blowout turn into something worse as the game went on.
6-foot-6 center Elizabeth Kitley was the focal point of Virginia Tech’s offense. She dominated with 24 points and added 10 rebounds to make it a double-double. She went 11-for-17 from the field in the blowout victory.
Aisha Sheppard added 18 for the visitors, making 6-of-11 attempts from the three-point line. Cayla King and Kayana Traylor added 14 for the Hokies.
Teisha Hyman had 18 to pace the Orange and Chrislyn Carr was the only other Syracuse player in double-figures with 14.
It was total domination from the start for the Hokies. Just over five minutes in, Virginia Tech already had a 19-6 lead thanks to a scalding start from the field. Syracuse appeared to at least steady the ship, but a score from Kitley put the Hokies up 30-16 after ten minutes.
Virginia Tech shot 12-of-16 in the first quarter and though it couldn’t quite keep up that pace, continued to pull away. A three from King made it 43-23 midway through the second quarter, and she added another triple before the halftime buzzer to make it 54-31.
The gap continued to show as the Orange showed fatigue from their third game in five days. Syracuse couldn’t get the deficit below 20 at any point during the third, and things began to go south of south near the end of the third. Traylor hit a three to make it 80-48 heading into the third.
The Orange only scored five points in the fourth, ensuring an extremely lopsided margin. In a game that was already decided, the Hokies outscored Syracuse 22-5 in the final quarter.
This loss is obviously a very deflating one for the Orange. Coming in, they had won two games in a row before a hard-fought loss to Florida State. This game showed Syracuse’s limitations perhaps better than any other this season.
The Hokies superior size meant that Kitley was always an option down low, and when the defense keyed on her, open threes were there for the picking. Virginia Tech also came in as one of the top defensive teams in the country and had few problems shutting down Syracuse’s offense, which has been struggling of late.
Hopes of getting back to .500 are slim, as Syracuse sits at 11-14 with three games left. It doesn’t help that the next contest is at No. 3 NC State on Sunday. Tip-off with the Wolfpack is scheduled for 2 p.m.