Johnson scores 21 points, Virginia beats No. 5 Virginia Tech after star Kitley leaves with injury


Elizabeth Kitley exits with an injury for Virginia Tech

Elizabeth Kitley appears to suffer a noncontact left knee injury in the third quarter for Virginia Tech.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- — Kymora Johnson scored 21 points and had a key steal and layup with just over a minute to play as Virginia held on to beat No. 5 Virginia Tech 80-75 on Sunday night in a game in which Hokies star Elizabeth Kitley missed the final 16 minutes due to injury.

Kitley, a 6-foot-6 senior center and two-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, was injured and left the game after being fouled making a tying layup with 6:05 left in the third period. She did not return and finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes. Coach Kenny Bropoks had little information about Kitley's injury after the game, and said it was not a concussion but a lower extremity injury. He did not want to say any more.

Johnson also had eight assists for the Cavaliers (15-14, 7-11), who ended a five-game losing streak against their rivals before a raucous crowd. Camryn Taylor added 17 points and Paris Clark 16 for Virginia, which beat a Top 25 team for the fourth time this season.

The victory was also Virginia's fifth in its last seven games.

“We just wanted it. We knew that we were trying to play our way into postseason and have momentum going into the conference tournament,” second-year Cavaliers coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said.

Georgia Amoore stepped up in Kitley's absence, finishing with a career-high 39 points and eight 3-pointers for the Hokies (23-6, 14-4). A ninth 3 that would have put the Hokies ahead 73-71 with 2:32 left was waived off because Clara Strack was called for a foul before Amoore took the shot.

After Kitley went down, “she had a different look,” Brooks said, “and she put us on her back.”

The game was tied 10 times, the last at 72 before London Clarkson scored, Johnson followed with a steal and layup and Clark hit a pair of free throws for Virginia, making it 78-72. A three-point play by Amoore made it a three-point game, but her next try resulted in a long rebound that Johnson ran down in a mad scramble. Sam Brunelle clinched it with a pair of free throws.

With the victory, Virginia has won one more ACC game in the regular season than it had in the last three seasons combined.

Clark helped fuel a 15-4 run that gave the Cavaliers a 34-29 lead at the half. Clark scored eight in the spurt, including a 3-pointer to barely beat the shot clock buzzer.


Virginia Tech: Virginia ran a promotion that offered each fan a hot dog and soft drink for $5. It's a promotion that has produced some of the largest crowds in Virginia women's basketball history, and did again, with 11,975 fabs making the largest crowd ever to see a women’s basketball game in Virginia. It also had a large and loud contingent of Hokies fans, making it almost as loud when the visitors did something as the Cavaliers. The previous record was a crowd of 11,966 in 1994 for the women’s semifinals and Final Four at Richmond Coliseum.

Virginia: The Cavaliers waited until after the game to honor seniors Brunelle, Clarkson, Taylor Lauterbach, Kaydan Lawson and Taylor for Senior Night.

“We came out on top, just proud of, like, the whole entire team,” Taylor said. “You know, to show out for Senior Day, to show out for our last home game and, to fight for the postseason.”


Both teams will play in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina.


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