RALEIGH (AP) — Kai Crutchfield scored 10 of her 20 points in the last 4½ minutes, Jakia Brown-Turner finished with 23 points and No. 2 NC State rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated, beating Virginia Tech 89-87 on Sunday.
Kayla Jones, who made two free throws at the 15-second mark, tallied 22 points for coach Wes Moore’s team.
The Wolfpack (11-0, 6-0) hadn’t played since Jan. 3, and the three-week layoff showed. The lone absence related to the 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.
Georgia Amoore’s 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds to play for Virginia Tech cut the gap to 88-87 before Raina Perez hit a free throw for the Wolfpack. A heave from near midcourt was well off the mark.
Sophomore center Elizabeth Kitley matched a career high with 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Aisha Sheppard added 24 points for Virginia Tech (7-7, 2-7).
In a four-minute span of the third quarter, the Hokies wiped out a 10-point hole to go up 56-53. The gap grew to 69-59 by the end of the quarter.
Virginia Tech’s 10-0 run that involved the third and fourth quarters pushed the margin to 73-59 before State rallied behind Crutchfield.
Virginia Tech led 24-17 by the end of the first quarter as Cayla King and Sheppard each provided nine points. King’s 3-pointer – her fourth of the game — stretched the lead to start the second quarter.
The Wolfpack was up 37-36 on Jones’ 3-pointer at the second-quarter’s 4:01 mark. It was the team’s fifth 3 of the quarter – and it ended up with a total of nine before halftime. The Hokies scored only three points in the final 4:20 of the first half, falling into a 47-41 hole at the break.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies have dropped six of their last seven games. They reached the 70-point mark in only one of those games.
State: The Wolfpack made 14 of 29 attempts from 3-point range for a season-high point total from beyond the arc.
Virginia Tech: Thursday vs. State for the start of a three-game homestand.
State: Thursday at Virginia Tech for what will be its lone January road game and the first of three straight away from home, a stretch that includes a visit to No. 1 Louisville on Feb. 1.