GREENSBORO (January 2, 2018) – The North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team got what it needed out of Tuesday night’s game against NAIA St. Andrews at Corbett Sports Center.
They cruised to a 90-40 win over the Knights, while getting a chance to play everyone on the active roster along with working on a variety of defenses and offenses they have been practicing.
Being able to do those things were important because whenever the Aggies step on the floor for the remainder of the regular season, it will be against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent. The Aggies open conference play against Norfolk State (7-5) who has road wins this season at Virginia Commonwealth University, at William & Mary and at Longwood.
“We’re still trying to get better,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson who is 57-23 in conference play as the Aggies head coach. “As I told them, in trying to get better, our effort at this point can’t be inconsistent. Our focus can’t be inconsistent. Our hustle can’t be inconsistent. We’re going to make mistakes on both ends of the floor.
But we have to separate ourselves from our opponents in effort, focus and hustle. That will put us in a position we want to be in because now one game can make the difference in winning that championship we want.”
Sophomore C’Coriea Foy led the Aggies by being the first player to score 30 or more points during the six-year Robinson era as she posted 31 points and six rebounds on 12-for-23 shooting. It was the Aggies first 30-point performance since JaQuayla Berry scored 31 points in a home win over South Carolina State on Jan. 22, 2011.
Foy, who came off the bench Tuesday, was complemented by another reserve as senior Quenswayla Story finished with a career-high 16 points and a season-high nine rebounds. Senior Kala Green recorded her second career double-double as she finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Her other double-double also came in a win when she scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Ohio last season.
For the fourth time this season, the Aggies forced a team into 30-plus turnovers as the Knights (5-8) committed 39. The Knights’ mishaps led to the Aggies having a 40-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Freshman Morgan Batie, sophomores Alexus Lessears, Foy and Shantell Bostick and Green had three steals apiece. Meanwhile, the Aggies posted 24 assists to only 14 turnovers.
A Samantha Ring 3-pointer got the Knights to within two at 10-8 five minutes into the game. That was about as good as it got for the Knights. St. Andrews’ next field goal didn’t come until there was 1:16 remaining in the first half. In the meantime, the Aggies outscored the Knights 31-4 while also hitting five 3-pointers. The Aggies led 42-17 at the half and outscored the Knights 28-9 in the fourth quarter.
“Tonight, gives everybody confidence because our key thing was to be able to execute offensively and defensively. We were consistent in doing that tonight. Coach Rob is doing everything to prepare us, so we just have to go into practice and be mentally and physically prepared for whatever he has to teach us going into every conference game.”
Robinson says two of his team’s strengths going into conference play is versatility and depth. Multiple players are interchangeable and can give the Aggies quality minutes. The Aggies will display even more depth once sophomore point guard Mikaya Wilson, sophomore guard Chrishyanah Alston and junior center Charnise Tyler return to the lineup.
“We're still trying to figure it out. Our starting lineup isn't even consistent yet,” said Robinson. “We're trying to find a good group that brings us success, but I like this group. It is one of the more balanced groups I've had. They're pretty good people too, so that makes it fun as well.”
Ring led St. Andrews with 17 points.