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Kitley makes game-winner, Virginia Tech women beat previously undefeated NC State

Elizabeth Kitley
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-07 17:43:15-05

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Elizabeth Kitley scored a layup on a cross-court inbound pass with less than a second remaining and the No. 13 Virginia Tech women beat previously undefeated and third-ranked NC State 63-62 on Sunday.

Kitley shot 12 of 24 from the floor and finished with 27 points for the Hokies (12-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who rallied from a 13-point second half deficit to win their seventh consecutive game. The Hokies also won their 19th consecutive home game.

Georgia Amoore had 21 points for the Hokies, who shot 41.5% (27 of 65).

“I think we’ve gone over that play multiple times in practice,” Amoore said. “And you know, Cayla has great vision and great accuracy with that pass, and I knew that it’s worked before. So I was very, very confident.”

Kitley gave the Hokies their first lead of the game at 61-60 with 1:28 remaining. The Wolfpack regained the lead on a layup by Saniya Rivers with less than three seconds to go.

After timeouts by each team, Cayla King threw a cross-court lob pass to the 6-foot-6 Kitley, who caught it and scored the game-winner.

“We needed it, and obviously we stumbled early in the year against the two ranked opponents,” Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said. “We just kind of like dug in and said, ‘Hey, we’re not trying to prove anybody wrong. We’re just going to continue to prove ourselves right,’ and that worked for us last year, and it continues to work for us.”

Madison Hayes paced the Wolfpack (14-1, 2-1) with 21 points.

Rivers finished with 12 points for the Wolfpack, who shot 40.7% (24 of 59) and made just one field goal in the final eight minutes.

“I think the heartbreaking thing is we have a lot of respect for their program, and you’re two seconds away from beating them on the road,” NC State coach Wes Moore said. “That’s heartbreaking. As a coach, you think I could have done something different, and we’d have won that game.”

Elizabeth Kitley
Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley shoots the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/Robert Simmons)

TAKEAWAYS

NC State: The Wolfpack played without center River Baldwin, who suffered an ankle injury in the team's win over Florida State on Thursday and may be out for a few weeks, Moore said. Her presence might have helped defend Kitley on the final play. Regardless, the Wolfpack already have three wins over top-25 teams, including two top-10 wins, so they have put themselves in a good position heading into the season’s final two months.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies had been looking for a signature win after losing to top-10 foes Iowa and LSU earlier in the season and took advantage of arguably their best remaining opportunity. This victory should propel them back into the top 10 of the upcoming Associated Press poll and without question will help with NCAA Tournament seeding in March.

RECORD CROWD

Officials from Virginia Tech announced during the game that it was a sellout, marking the first regular-season sellout in the program’s history. The official attendance was 8,925.

UP NEXT

NC State: Hosts Virginia on Thursday.

Virginia Tech: Hosts Miami on Thursday.

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