BLACKSBURG, Va.-After a week off the court, the North Carolina A&T women's basketball team struggled to get things started offensively on Friday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum against Virginia Tech.
The Aggies had their lowest scoring output of the season in a 58-39 loss. The Aggies, said A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson, seemed to have been affected by the long holiday break.
"I wish we didn't have to let them go home for the break," Robinson said. "I think the way we ended against William & Mary-making a run - it being defense and doing the little things. If we had played this game a couple of days (after William & Mary), instead we took days off, and I think we just got away from the things that we worked on in the first half of the season."
The Aggies (6-5) shot a season-low 24 percent and had a season-low 26 rebounds as the Hokies outrebounded the Aggies by 22.
"We didn't hit shots, we didn't do a good job of sharing the ball. We had one assist and 13 turnovers. They did a good job of guarding us, switching some of our screens and stuff, but we just didn't take advantage of it," Robinson said.
An 8-0 Hokies run allowed them to take a 16-8 lead in the first half. A JaQuayla Berry 3-pointer put the Aggies down by, but Virginia Tech's Alyssa Fenym quickly answered with a three of her own to push lead back to eight. The Aggies were never able to get any closer than five the rest of the way as the Hokies closed the half on a 12-4 run to take a 31-18 lead at halftime.
Virginia Tech increased its lead to 16 in the second half on a pair of free throws by Nia Evans. But the Aggies fought, and kept the Hokies scoreless for more than four minutes, until a jumper by Uju Ugoka made it a 47-29 with 8:30 remaining. Berry led the Aggies with 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting from the free throw line.
"I thought we had a lot of moments where we guarded them down to five and four seconds and then we'd have a mental lapse where we finally broke down in the final seconds or gave up an offensive rebound," said Robinson about an Aggies team that surrendered 19 second chance points. "It's about finishing plays. We've got to get better with that."
The Aggies will look to improve in their next game as they host Elon at 2 p.m., for a New Year's Eve matinee at Corbett Sports Center.