WASHINGTON, DC – A dominating first half performance led the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team to a 69-48 win over Howard University, Monday evening at Burr Gymnasium.
The Aggies (16-4 overall, 6-2 MEAC) set the tone early against the Bison (9-12, 5-3) as both teams entered Monday’s game tied for fourth in the league standings. The win also marked the first time that A&T has won at Burr Gymnasium since the 2009-10 season.
“We talked about our last loss which was to Coppin and it was a situation where it was a game that could move us up in the standings and we didn’t seize the opportunity,” head coach Tarrell Robinson explained. “Tonight was the same thing. We were tied with Howard coming into the game but my ladies responded. They came into the game wanting to move up in the standings, wanting to win and that’s what happened.”
A&T’s solid defense forced 31 turnovers, recorded seven blocks, and eight steals. The Aggies had already recorded 10 turnovers seven minutes into the first half where they leaped to a 21-4 advantage following a fast break layup from Ariel Bursey.
A&T continued to find holes in Howard’s defense and took its biggest lead of the game at the 4:13 mark, 36-11 with a layup from Eboni Ross. The Aggies took a 39-21 lead at halftime courtesy of Ross’ 11 points along with Tracy King’s 10 points in the first half.
Howard didn’t let A&T’s large lead discourage it from attempting a comeback as it put together a 13-7 rally, slicing the Aggies lead to 46-34 with 11:02 remaining in the game. However the Aggies defense was just too much for the Bison as A&T continued to capitalize and create points off turnovers.
A&T scored 37 points off turnovers, took a 36-20 advantage in the paint, and its bench scored 24 points, with the help of Ross. Ross finished with 16 points and was 6-for-9 from the field. She also recorded six rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.
King led all players in scoring with 20 points. Her performance Monday night notched her third consecutive 20-point game. The senior also finished with a career-high three blocks, four steals, and three assists.
Carter recorded 11 points, including two 3-pointers and four steals. A&T’s defense was sparked by Debbie Smith who grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
The Aggies will host Florida A&M on Saturday, Feb. 8 for a MEAC game scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.