College basketball: Kitley’s jumper lifts No. 9 Hokies past No. 22 Tar Heels

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 24, 2023

By Aaron Beard

AP Basketball Writer

CHAPEL HILL — Elizabeth Kitley capped a night when she set Virginia Tech’s career scoring record by hitting a jumper at the buzzer to lift the ninth-ranked Hokies past No. 22 North Carolina 61-59 on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-6 senior finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in a game played in her home state, the last coming with the Hokies (23-4, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) locked in a tie game with 2.1 seconds left.

Cayla King inbounded to Kitley on the right side, who had space to calmly launch a jumper while UNC’s Anya Poole tried to close on her late. The shot dropped through the net, sending her skipping to midcourt to celebrate with her teammates.

Kitley needed 16 points to tie the program scoring record of 1,883 points set by Aisha Sheppard just last year. She cracked that midway through the fourth quarter.

Kayana Traylor added 20 points for Virginia Tech.

Deja Kelly scored 18 points to lead the Tar Heels (19-9, 10-7), including what a go-ahead jumper with 12.2 seconds left for a 58-57 lead.

King followed by calmly hitting two free throws to put the Hokies back in front with 9.1 seconds left, while UNC’s Alyssa Ustby banked in a free throw to tie the game at 59-all but missed the second to set up Kitley’s jumper.

The Hokies arrived having won six straight, including wins against ranked Florida State and North Carolina State teams before beating then-No. 9 Duke last week to avenge their last loss. That had put them in position to earn a double-round bye in next week’s ACC Tournament as a top-four seed.

UNC travels to ninth-ranked Duke on Sunday.

No. 23 Fla. State 61, Wake Forest 60

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — Valencia Myers scored 18 points, Ta’Niya Latson added 15 and No. 23 Florida State beat Wake Forest 61-60.

Wake Forest guard Jewel Spear was fouled on a 3-pointer with 1:43 left in the fourth quarter and she made 2 of 3 free throws to get within 59-56. Spear was fouled going for an offensive rebound with 32.1 left and made two more free throws to cut the deficit to 61-60.

Latson dribbled down the clock before driving into the lane for a runner but it went hard off the glass and Wake Forest secured the rebound with 2.6 left. After a timeout Kaia Harrison inbounded the ball and got it back for an open 3-pointer but it hit the front of the rim as time expired.

Makayla Timpson had eight points and six rebounds before fouling out with 5:54 left in the fourth quarter for Florida State (23-7, 12-5 ACC).

Elise Williams had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Wake Forest (14-14, 5-12). Niyah Becker added a season-high 12 points and Spear finished with 11.

 No. 11 Duke women pull away from N.C. State 77-62

DURHAM (AP) — Celeste Taylor scored 21 points, Elizabeth Balogun had a double-double and No. 11 Duke pulled away from North Carolina State for a 77-62 win on Thursday night to remain tied for first in the Atlantic Coast Conference with one game to go.

Balogun had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils (24-4, 14-3), who have won 6 of 7 heading into Sunday’s finale at home against No. 22 North Carolina. Taylor had six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.

Notre Dame, which closes at Louisville, is also 14-3.

Jada Boyd scored 19 points for the Wolfpack (18-10, 8-9). Jakia Brown-Turner added 12 points and Saniya Rivers 11. North Carolina State was ranked No. 6 when the visiting Blue Devils, then unranked, won the first game 72-58 on Dec. 29.

Duke started a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 49-36 lead, the first time the difference reached double figures, as N.C. State missed four straight shots.

The Blue Devils led 54-44 entering the fourth quarter and then scored the first seven points, starting with a Reigan Richardson three-point play.

Brown-Turner and Rivers hit 3s as the Wolfpack scored eight straight to get within nine with just under four minutes to go, but Taylor answered with a 3-pointer to end the threat.

The Blue Devils had four 3-pointers in the first half to one for the Wolfpack and that was the difference for Duke’s 33-30 lead.



UNC Wilmington 76, Stony Brook 69

WILMINGTON  (AP) — Jamarii Thomas came off the bench to score 26 points, leading UNC Wilmington to a 76-69 victory over Stony Brook on Thursday night.

Thomas also had five assists for the Seahawks (22-8, 12-5 Colonial Athletic Association). Donovan Newby finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while Trazarien White scored 13.

Keenan Fitzmorris led the Seawolves (10-20, 6-11) with 25 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Toby Onyekonwu added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Stephenson-Moore had 12 points.

Charlotte knocks off North Texas

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Lu’Cye Patterson scored 17 points off of the bench to help lead Charlotte over North Texas 55-49. Patterson also had six rebounds for the 49ers (17-11, 8-9 Conference USA). Brice Williams added 14 points while going 4 of 13 from the floor, including 1 for 4 from distance, and 5 for 6 from the line, and he also had five rebounds. Isaiah Folkes went 2 of 4 from the field to finish with six points.

Abou Ousmane led the Mean Green (23-6, 14-4) with 12 points.