PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team shot well, spread the ball evenly, and placed four players in double figures as it defeated UMES 73-63 at W.P. Hytche Athletic Center Saturday afternoon.
“We called this “Bounce Back Saturday,” head coach Tarrell Robinson said about A&T rebounding from a 59-50 loss against Coppin State in its previous game. We responded although we started out the first half a little hesitant but we woke up in the second. It’s all about moving up in the standings.”
With the win, the Aggies (15-4 overall) improved to 5-2 in the MEAC and kept the Hawks (4-14, 0-6) winless in the league.
Senior forward Tracy King led the Aggies with another impressive performance that included 21 points, seven rebounds, and a pair of assists. King knocked down four of A&T’s six 3-pointers and was 7-for-13 from the field. Saturday’s performance notched King’s second straight 20-point game.
Junior guard Ariel Bursey also added 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Redshirt-sophomore Christina Carter finished with 13 points, four assists, and four rebounds. Senior guard DeAndra Davis scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
As a team, the Aggies shot 47.5 percent from the field.Eboni Ross led A&T in rebounds with eight.
“I thought we distributed the ball very well in the second half,” Robinson said. “We were able to take shots that we were comfortable taking. Tracy King played excellent for us as she’s done all season. Ariel found her groove and really handled the ball more at the point to give Christina Carter a break. CC also had a solid game. It was great to see DeAndra put together a great second half.”
After leading at the half, the Aggies exploded on a 17-11 run ending in a pair of back-to-back three’s from King as they stretched their lead to 45-32 with 14:19 left to play. A&T continued to execute on offense, finding open shots and unleashed another 8-3 rally which produced buckets from King, Carter and Aprill McRae which gave the Aggies a solid 61-44 lead at the 7:18 mark. Carter’s 3-pointer barely two minutes later gave A&T its largest lead 64-44.
UMES scored eight unanswered points in nearly three minutes to slice A&T’s advantage to 66-54 with 1:44 remaining. However the Aggies lead was too substantial for the Hawks to respond to as A&T finished out the game on top.
Bursey fueled the Aggies in the first half as they played a tight game with the Hawks. A&T began to pull away slowly when Davis took advantage of a routine Hawks inbound pass by making a quick steal and layup to put the Aggies up 17-14 with 7:27 left in the half. Davis was fouled on the play but was unable to convert on the extra basket at the free throw line. But McRae was there for the rebound and drove to the basket with a layup to give A&T the 19-14 edge just three seconds later.
On the Aggies’ next possession Carter knocked down a jumper, capping a 6-0 run at the 6:54 mark. A&T closed out the remaining minutes by taking a 28-21 lead at halftime.
A&T will visit Howard on Monday, Feb. 3 for a conference game beginning at 5:30 p.m.