N.C. State women’s basketball team rallies to top the Virginia Tech Hokies, 89-87….Elizabeth Kitley(Northwest Guilford HS) with 30 pts./13 rebounds for Hokies, Cayla King(NWG) with 12 points for VA Tech….Elissa Cunane(Northern Guilford HS) missing for N.C. State due to Coronavirus Protocol….
The lone N.C. State absence related to a coronavirus test or contract tracing was a big one, with standout center Elissa Cunane missing the game. She is likely out for at least the next game, also against the Hokies.
“Hopefully getting this game under our belt will help those who’ve been in protocol,” N.C. State coach Wes Moore said.
(Elissa Cunane, also known as “Big Smile” for the N.C. State women, and N.C. State also hopes to see that “Big Smile”, back in their lineup soon)….
Reports coming in from GoPack.com and from the Associated Press….
RALEIGH – After trailing by double digits midway through the fourth quarter, the second-ranked NC State women’s basketball team (11-0, 6-0 ACC) put together another late comeback victory, this time defeating the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies (7-7, 2-7 ACC) 89-87 inside Reynolds Coliseum.
NC State trailed by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter, and Virginia Tech owned an 11-point advantage (81-70) with 4:20 remaining in the game before the Pack began to chisel away at that lead. The Wolfpack scored 19 of the last 25 points of the game and hit four three pointers in the closing minutes to secure its seventh-straight win over the Hokies.
Jakia Brown-Turner led three 20+ point scorers for the Wolfpack, tying her career high with 23 on the night. Kayla Jones added 22 points, a team-high seven rebounds and four assists to stuff the stat sheet, and Kai Crutchfield ended the outing with 20 points and three assists of her own.
All three of those players knocked down four three pointers apiece to lead the way for the Pack’s 14 triples as a team. That mark was the most for the squad in a single game this season and tied as the third-most made in a single game in program history.
In total, NC State shot 14-of-29 (.483) from long range and 29-of-56 (.518) from the floor.
The game featured eight lead changes and two ties. After a third quarter during which Virginia Tech shot 66.7 percent (10-of-15) and the Pack shot just 33.3 percent (4-of-12), the Wolfpack stared up at a 10-point deficit headed into the final frame. NC State went on to put up 30 points to Virginia Tech’s 18 in the fourth quarter.
The Wolfpack used an 11-0 run, which included eight-straight points by Crutchfield, to tie the game at 81 with 2:36 remaining. Brown-Turner and Jones added a pair of clutch threes to that run. Crutchfield then converted on a pair of free throws to give NC State the lead, its first since the 5:32 mark of the second half and one it would not relinquish. Virginia Tech’s Cayla King hit a three with 12 seconds remaining to bring her team within one, but the Pack was able to ice away the game at the free throw line.
In addition to King’s 12 points and four threes, Hokie sophomore Elizabeth Kitley put up a double-double with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Aisha Sheppard added 24 points and four three pointers of her own.
NC State managed to keep the game in hand in the first half as well when Virginia Tech went up by 10 at the start of the second quarter. The Pack hit seven threes in that frame alone and held the Hokies scoreless for the final 3:01 of the half to take the 47-41 lead into the break.
NC State is set to make the return trip to Blacksburg on Thursday, Jan. 28 for its second regular-season matchup with the Hokies. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. from the Cassell Coliseum, and the game will be broadcast live on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks.
Kitley registers 30-point afternoon in 89-87 loss at No. 2 NC State
RALEIGH – Center Elizabeth Kitley scored 30 points for the second time this season, and Aisha Sheppard added 24 but the Hokies were unable to hang on to a fourth quarter lead Sunday afternoon, ultimately falling 89-87 to the second-ranked NC State Wolfpack.
The loss drops the Hokies to 7-7 (2-7) ahead of a second clash with the Wolfpack this Thursday at Cassell Coliseum.
In a game where the momentum seemed to shift after each quarter, the Hokies to the lead early through Cayla King who hit three triples in the first quarter and Sheppard, who’s first three of the game gave her 270th, cementing her as the all-time leader in program history.
The Wolfpack fought back in the second quarter and went into the locker room holding a 47-41 advantage at the half thanks to a 10-3 run in the closing minutes.
It was the Hokies who took control in the third frame, building a 10-point lead by the end of it thanks to scoring runs led by Kitley who operated freely much of the afternoon and capitalized with 30 points.
NC State (11-0, 6-0) erased a 14-point deficit in the closing quarter utilizing a 16-0 run and key shots from Kai Crutchfield who finished with 20 points, Kayla Jones (22) and Jakia Brown-Turner (23).
King finished with 12 points, Georgia Amoore added eight points and seven assists and Azana Baines scored seven points and pulled down eight rebounds.
•Virginia Tech is now 1-22 against the Wolfpack.
•Kenny Brooks’ record moves to 93-56 at Virginia Tech and 430-178 in his career.
•Tech is 6-6 all-time on January 24.
•The starting lineup of Georgia Amoore, Aisha Sheppard, Cayla King, Azana Baines and Elizabeth Kitley accounted for 81 points. It was the first game of the season that this combination had been utilized from the opening tip.
•Kitley registered her 10th double-double of the season with 30 points and 13 rebounds. She leads the conference in that category after securing her fourth consecutive one.
• Aisha Sheppard scored four 3-pointers, taking her career total to 273, becoming the program’s all-time leader in that category. She ranks 10th all-time in 3’s in ACC history.
NEXT TIME ON THE COURT
•A second meeting against the Wolfpack is scheduled for Thursday, January 28 at Cassell Coliseum. That game will also tip at 4 p.m. and will be shown on RSN.