OMAHA, Neb. - The North Carolina A&T women's basketball team dropped their second straight game, falling to Omaha 58-44 at the Sapp Fieldhouse on Monday evening.
"I thought we took several steps back when you look at how we came out and played against Nebraska. Honestly, I thought we took this team for granted and they took advantage of that," said A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson.
The Aggies (0-2) struggled again in getting inside the paint and scoring. Robinson said that the Aggies weren't aggressive enough in driving to the basket during the game, and that made it difficult for A&T to get their offense rolling.
"I just told them [the Aggies] that this was the last thing I would have thought going into this game that I would be worried about us not being aggressive. We settled for outside shots. We actually attempted more shots than they did and attempted more threes. That's not the brand of basketball I was trying to play," he said.
A&T shot just 19 percent in the second half, making just 6 of 31 shot attempts, which was a significant drop-off from the 48 percent the Aggies shot in the first half.
The Aggies were unable to defend the lead they created in the first half thanks to their shooting. The Aggies pulled ahead to a 15-8 lead after a pair of three-pointers from sophomores Jessica Lyons and Adriana Nazario. But the Mavericks tied the game at 19 with a pair of free throws from Paige Frauendorfer, taking advantage of A&T shot clock violations and missed shots to climb back into the game. Free throws from Jamie Nash gave Omaha a 23-21 lead. The Mavericks went on an 8-5 run to close out the first half and take a 31-26 lead into the break.
"I thought that we knew that they weren't going to be able to handle pressure so we picked up our pressure a little bit in the second half going in," Robinson said. The Aggies forced 11 Omaha turnovers, but struggled to score off their opportunities.
A 3-pointer from junior Tracy King pulled Aggies within three at 43-40, with 10:24 left to play. A 3-pointer by Ericka House put the Mavericks ahead 48-40 with 7:43 remaining. The Aggies worked to come back, pulling within eight on a three-pointer from Berry with 4:54 left. But House made it an 11-point game with a 3-pointer with just over three minutes left.
"We forced some turnovers that we weren't able to capitalize on and we ended up taking quick and bad shots and they ended up capitalizing at the other end," Robinson said. "They were going at the basket and we were settling."
Preseason All-MEAC senior guard JaQuayla Berry led the Aggies in scoring and on the boards with 12 points and nine rebounds, along with two steals in the contest. Preseason All-Summit League player Frauendorfer finished the game with a team-best 15 points for Omaha.
The Aggies will take on Iona in their home opener at 6 p.m., at Corbett Sports Center on Friday.