GREENSBORO – They live by it and they played by it on Monday evening as the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team’s defense was in full effect in a dominating 66-35 victory over Bethune-Cookman.
The Aggies (18-4 overall) controlled the game on both sides of the court as they improved to 8-2 in the MEAC. The Wildcats (8-16) dropped to 5-7 in the league.
“We were a little disappointed that we let Florida A&M score over 70 points on us in our last game,” head coach Tarrell Robinson said. “We wanted to come out in this game and really focus on our defense. It was a great effort by the ladies and it was good to see how well they shared the ball.”
Bethune-Cookman cut A&T’s lead to 13-10 with a 3-pointer from Shakeyia Colyer with 13:03 in the first half. But the Aggie’s defense began to emerge, causing 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. The Aggies leaped on a 14-5 run to close out the half with a 27-15 advantage heading into the locker room. Senior forward Tracy King ignited A&T’s offense with 10 points in the opening half.
By the second half, A&T's pressure started to overwhelm the Wildcats. A&T used BCU's struggles on offense to spark its offense. The Aggies used a 23-12 rally to bust open the game, taking a 50-27 lead with nine minutes remaining in the game. The Aggies closed out the final minutes holding the Wildcats to just eight more points.
Debbie Smith led all players in scoring with 13 points. King added 12 points, five assists, and a game-high four steals. Ariel Bursey chipped in 10 points. Aprill McRae and Christina Carter added eight points each while Carter tabbed a game-leading eight assists. DeAndra Davis led the Aggies on the boards with eight rebounds.
Bethune-Cookman was led by Chastity Rene Taylor and Colyer who finished with 11 points each. The Wildcats shot just 23.8 percent from the field.
The Aggies scored 28 points off BCU’s 25 turnovers and took a 40-12 advantage in the paint, with 30 of those points coming in the second half alone.
A&T will visit Savannah State on Saturday, Feb. 15 and S.C. State on Mon. Feb. 17 for a pair of MEAC games.