GREENSBORO - The North Carolina A&T women's basketball team won its third straight game, defeating George Washington 67-56 on Sunday evening at Corbett Sports Center.
For A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson, collecting the win in a competitive game will help the Aggies as they move forward into MEAC competition.
"We finished non-conference strong and went out the right way," Robinson said. "It's going to be tough in Florida. We want to ride this wave and hopefully non-conference has helped them buy more into the things that we preach as far as defensive principles and being a little bit more patient on the offensive end."
The Aggies indeed showed that they are able to put together a strong game on each side of the court, shooting 48 percent and outrebounding the Colonials 35-25.
The Aggies (9-5) had three players score in double figures in the contest, including seeing a season-best 14 points from sophomore guard Adriana Nazario and a season-high 11 from redshirt freshman Eboni Ross.
Nazario was especially over the final 10 minutes of the game. After Sara Mostafa hit one of two free throws to make it a 41-38 ballgame, Nazario scored five points during a 7-0 Aggies run that culminated with her pulling up for a 3-pointer off the dribble to give the Aggies a 48-38 lead with 7:45 to play.
A&T's lead ballooned to 51-40 a minute later after a DeAndra Davis made free throw and a putback by Ariel Bursey after Davis' second free throw missed. The Colonials (6-8) would score the next four points before another Nazario three gave A&T a 54-44 lead with 5:02 remaining. A&T's lead remained at double figures for the majority of the game's final five minutes.
"It was a team effort. Everybody that got in and impacted the game," said Robinson. "Adriana Nazario is hitting big shots and guarding the best player on the floor. She's doing a lot for us and she's starting to turn the corner and stepping up right now. Nikia Gorham and Eboni Ross-if they don't show up and play the way they played - we don't win this game."
Ross' 11 points in the second half helped lifted the Aggies to victory, much as Gorham's eight first-half points helped put the Aggies in front. "They gave us an inside presence. They hit some big shots and we took advantage of some mismatches," said Robinson.
But Robinson added that he will be looking for the Aggies to continue to improve on some aspects of their game as they head to Daytona Beach this week.
The Aggies will travel to Florida to open up their MEAC slate at Bethune-Cookman on Jan. 12 and at Florida A&M on Jan. 14.
"We're just getting better every day, every practice, every game. Somebody new steps up. Somebody figures out what they need to be doing on the offensive and defensive end, and that's where we want to be. For what our goals are-which is a conference championship-we're moving in the right direction," said Robinson.
After starting out the game on a 6-0 run, the Aggies put together a 6-0 run to close out the first half with a 26-21 lead. A key layup by Gorham gave A&T a 22-21 lead with 1:27 left, to put A&T back in front for good.
Tracy King added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Aggies. The Colonials were led by Shi-Heria Shipp's 16.