From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
Liz Kitley hit a layup with .09 seconds left that might have been heard in every corner of Blacksburg on Sunday and maybe even every corner of the ACC.
It was even close to being a shot heard around the world as the “queens of Cassell” took down #3 ranked N.C. State by one point.
The visitors from down under had as much as a 11-point lead in the ball game before the combination of Kitley and Georgia Amore rallied the troops.
The capacity crowd of 8,925 represented the first regular season sellout in program history.
The Hokies (12-2, 3-0) had two players score in double figures, led by Kitley, who recorded a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Amoore tacked on 21 points, seven assists and two steals and Carys Baker added six points.
Virginia Tech forced 13 NC State turnovers while committing just eight themselves in Sunday’s game. The Hokies turned those takeaways into 10 points on the other end of the floor. Amoore’s two steals led the way for Virginia Tech.
Cayla King made the inland base to Kitley that led to game winner. Her teammate, Georgia Amoore, said the team had practiced the same play multiple times in practice. “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,” Amoore told reporters after the game.
Coach Kenny Brooks said his team needed the win. “Obviously we stumbled early in the year against the two ranked opponents (LSU and Iowa).”
Brooks also said the record crowd played a big part in the win on Sunday.
After losses to LSU and Iowa, the Hokies dropped out of the AP Top 10 and had been scratching its way back from #16.
Kitley said she was glad Brooks pointed to her during the last timeout, calling the shot one of the biggest moments in her career.
The team will have to make a quick turnaround as a good Miami team comes to town on Thursday.