DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 4, 2019) –North Carolina A&T made a strong statement Monday night against the team that shared the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) women’s basketball regular-season championship with them last season.
The Aggies shot 49.2 and were dominant after the first quarter as they earned a 72-48 win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Moore Gymnasium. The win improved N.C. A&T to 11-10 overall and 8-0 in the conference. Junior Cinia McCray led the Aggies with 18 points and three assists on 7-for-15 shooting. Junior C’Coriea Foy had a productive night with 13 points, four assists and four steals on 4-for-8 shooting. The Aggies are above .500 for the first time this season.
Senior Charnise Tyler came off the bench to score 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting. The Aggies took control of the game in a second quarter that saw them shoot 54.5 percent from the floor behind nine points from McCray. It was her 3-pointer that gave the Aggies a 25-16 lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. She put the Aggies up double figures, 28-17, two minutes later with another three.
McCray came through again with a fadeaway just before the half as the Aggies led 30-20 at halftime.
“We got a lot of shots up during shootaround, so we came in ready to knock down some shots tonight,” said McCray, the Aggies second-leading scorer. “Once we started playing, we defended, got out in transition and that opened up our shots and our confidence to hit those shots.”
N.C. A&T did not cool off in the third quarter. They shot 52.6 percent in the quarter with Tyler leading the charge. She posted 10 points in the quarter on 5-for-7 shooting. The Aggies took their biggest lead of the game on a Foy where she went hard to the rim and took a nice dish from junior Shantell Bostick for a 52-33 lead with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.
The closest the Wildcats got the rest of the way was 13 at 54-41 on an Angel Golden jump shot with 6:16 to play in the game. Peeples scored in the paint on two straight possessions to end any hopes the Wildcats had of gaining momentum. Foy put the Aggies ahead by 21, 68-47, with two free throws at the 2:27 mark of the fourth quarter.
As good as the Aggies were on offense, they continued their efforts to smother opponents defensively. The Wildcats did shoot 32.7 percent from the floor which makes them first opponent in six games to actually shoot better than 30 percent against the Aggies. The Aggies held Golden, B-CU’s leading scorer to 13 points on 6-for-20 shooting.
“We wanted to use our post players to our advantage,” said McCray. “Defensively, we wanted to shut down (Golden) because we knew everything runs through her. We had to limit them from getting put backs which I think we did for the most part.”
The Aggies conference winning streak stands at 16 after Saturday’s victory. They have won 14 straight on the road against MEAC opponents and including the tournament, the Aggies have won 26 of their last 27 against conference opponents. N.C. A&T returns to Corbett Sports Center on Saturday, Feb. 9 to face Delaware State at 2 p.m.