The N. C. State's women's basketball team host the Virginia Tech Hokies Thursday night, February the 8th, at 8 p.m. The game will be an ACCN telecast.
The game is also the third of the three consecutive home games against the best in the ACC and nation. State needs to "HOLD SERVE" after beating UNC last Thursday night and Louisville Monday night. Holding serve increases State's chance of getting a good ACC Tournament seed and a good NCAA Tournament seed. With State's remaining schedule, a third conference loss at this point makes each of these goals more difficult.
Looking at the current conference standings, one can see that the "pod" of State, Duke, UNC, UVA and VaTech is projected to have the strongest ACC conference only strength of schedule for the 2023-24 season. A "pod" is a group of teams playing home and away games with other pod members. Again, the need to "hold serve".
While State has won 27 of the 32 games played with Tech, Tech has won the last 3 which included the January 7th game at Tech, a 63-62 win on a last second basket by reigning ACC POY Elizebeth Kitley. VaTech took their first lead in the game at 61-60 with 1:28 left in the game on a put-back by Kitley. State regained the lead at 62-61 with 00:02 seconds left on a basket by Saniya Rivers. Kitley then made the winning layup for the win.
State played that game without River Baldwin. Thinking that with River back in the starting line-up, with State having no losses with River in the line-up, with the game in Raleigh, and with how the game at VaTech went, State should win might be questionable. The reason such a position might be questionable is VaTech is playing better now and just beat UNC in Chapel Hill.
Over 50% of Tech's scoring comes from Kitley at 22.1 ppg and Georgia Amoore at 17.7 ppg. For Tech, Matilda Ekh is scoring 10.7 ppg and Cayla King is scoring 7.5 ppg. While Amoore is the team's high volume arc shooter, I am surprised to see that she is shooting only 321 from the arc. Both Ekh and Kitley are shooting better from the arc at 398 and 400 respectively; however, Kitley has taken only 5 shots from the arc.
State, on the other hand, has 4 players averaging over 10 ppg with two others just under 10 ppg. Aziaha James leads State's scoring at 15.8 ppg with Saniya Rivers at 12.5 ppg. Madison Hayes and Mimi Collings are scoring 11.6 and 11.9 ppg with Zoe Brooks and River Baldwin scoring 9.6 and 9.9 ppg.
Looking at warrennolan:
VaTech has a Live RPI of 21, an overall record of 18-4, a conference record of 9-2, a NET of 18, an ELO of 14, a SOS of 63 and has quad 1 RPI and NET records of 4-4. VaTech's best win was that home win over State.
State has a Live RPI of 4, an overall record of 20-2, a conference record of 8-2, a NET of 11, an ELO of 3, a SOS of 8, a quad 1 NET record of 6-2 and a quad 1 RPI record of 4-2. Of course, State's best win NET wise is that over UConn.
To the predictions:
RP Predictions picks State to win 71-61 with an 80% probability of a win.
Lobo's Look at herhoopstats predicts State to win by a score of 68.8 to 65.9 with a 59.9% win-probability.
To continue, herhoopstats shows VaTech as the better offensive team with a value of 114.4 and a rank of 10/360 to State's value of 110.4 and a rank of 19/360. The same site shows State as a better defensive team with a value of 76.6 and a rank of 6/360 to Tech's value of 79.3 and rank of 18/360. With regard the site's Hoop Stats Rating, VaTech has a value of 35.2 and a rank of 12/360 while State's are value 33.9 and rank of 13/360. Nolan stats shows State as the better team while herhoopstats shows VaTech as the better team with their ratings and with the fact that the site picks VaTech to win at home and at a neutral site with State only winning if the game is in Raleigh.
Again, State really needs to win this one. Hoping Saniya Rivers is more effective in those drives to the basket, River Baldwin stays out of foul trouble and Aziaha has a repeat of her game against Louisville.