The No. 9 Duke Blue Devils (22-3; 12-2 ACC) will handle the No. 11 Virginia Tech Hokies (20-4; 10-4 ACC) for the 2nd time this season on Thursday. This match in between the No. 1 and No. 3 groups in the ACC standings is arranged to tip-off at 7 p.m. ET and will be transmitted on the ACC Network.
Both the Blue Devils and Hokies have actually won 4 straight video games, with Virginia Tech’s last loss concerning Duke back on Jan. 26. The Blue Devils held the Hokies to simply 34.7 percent shooting from the field (consisting of a 1-of-9 efficiency from ruling ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley) and 55 overall points, which was the second-lowest point overall of the season for Virginia Tech, and were led by sophomore guard Shayeann Day-Wilson, who scored 18 points.
That type of protective effort is absolutely nothing brand-new for Duke, which has actually leaned on its defense for the whole of the 2022-23 routine season. The Blue Devils presently rank No. 3 in Division I in protective effectiveness, according to Her Hoop Stats, enabling 73.1 points per 100 belongings, and have actually stood out at both obstructing shots (13.8 percent block rate; No. 4 in Division I) and completing belongings with protective rebounds (74.1 percent protective rebounding rate; No. 21). Duke has actually likewise done an outstanding task at requiring stagnancy in opposing offenses, leading the nation in opposing assist/turnover ratio at simply 0.41.
Duke head coach Kara Lawson applauded her group’s effort on defense after its current win versus the Miami Hurricanes, explaining in her postgame presser that Duke’s own offense (season-low 8 turnovers) and protective rebounding were type in the success.
It’s clear that Virginia Tech requires to be more effective with the basketball on Thursday if it’s going to divide its season series with Duke, and getting Kitley included will likely be the Hokies’ leading concern. Kitley’s 4 points on Jan. 26 were a season-low and among the 2 events on which she’s scored in single figures this season; the 6-foot-6 center, who is a prospect to win the Lisa Leslie Award for 2023, is balancing 18 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per video game, and the Hokies are at their finest when they’re playing through her.
Virginia Tech isn’t a one-player program, nevertheless. Guard Georgia Amoore, in specific, has actually been scorching-hot since late, amounting to 52 points, 11 made 3-pointers and 15 helps in her last 2 video games. Amoore, whose shooting variety extends well beyond the 3-point line, was just recently called co-Player of the Week (with Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist) by the USBWA.
It’s totally possible that the rematch in between Duke and Virginia Tech will be another low-scoring affair, as both groups play at a more systematic rate and stand out at protective rebounding. That’s precisely the kind of video game Duke has actually been winning all season long, so Virginia Tech will require to get its stars going early in order to even the season series.