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Virginia Tech women blow 14-point lead, lose to No. 2 NC State

N.C. State's Kayla Jones (25) pulls in a rebound from Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley (33) during the second half of N.C. State’s 89-87 victory over Virginia Tech at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, January 24, 2021. (2021, The News & Observer)

RALEIGH, NC – 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 270, 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.