BOSTON (AP) — The last time Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks brought the Hokies to Chestnut Hill, they were 1-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and trying to stay out of the league cellar.
“Four years later, we’re the seventh-ranked team in the country,” he said Wednesday night after the Hokies beat Boston College 73-58. “But I think the sky is the limit for this group.”
Reigning ACC player of the year Elizabeth Kitley had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Cayla King scored 16 to lead Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC) to their ninth straight win. The Hokies’ No. 7 ranking is the best in program history.
Taylor Soule, one of two BC transfers on the roster for Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC), added nine points and five rebounds. Soule scored more than 1,500 points and grabbed almost 700 rebounds in four seasons at BC, earning All-ACC honors three times.
“She got into foul trouble in the second half, but she did some really good things,” Brooks said. “She’s a great kid. So I’m glad she’s able to put this experience behind us. And now she can move forward with a clear head.”
Clara Ford, who also played four years in Chestnut Hill, pitched in 2 points in 2 minutes against her former team.
“It’s hard, and with the evolution of their transfer portal are you going to see it more and more, kids coming back,” Brooks said. “They loved their time here. They love BC. … I know it can be tough for them, but I thought they handled themselves beautifully.”
Andrea Daley scored 15 points and Maria Gakdeng scored 14 for BC (7-4, 0-1). They each grabbed six rebounds.
Virginia Tech scored 17 of the game’s first 21 points and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before BC cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Leading 64-54 with under three minutes left and the shot clock expiring, Kayana Traylor hit a 3-pointer for the Hokies.
Gakdeng missed two free throws for BC, and then Kitley scored from inside to make it a 15-point game.
A 10th straight win against North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday would set up a showdown with No. 5 Notre Dame on Dec. 18.
Virginia Tech: Hosts North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.
Boston College: Hosts Albany on Saturday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25