GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to five after it cruised by Appalachian State 62-43, Wednesday evening at Corbett Sports Center.
For the first time in six tries, the Aggies defeated the Mountaineers (1-5) in the sport of women's basketball. It was the first meeting between the two teams since the 1989-90 season when the Mountaineers defeated A&T in Corbett Sports Center. But on Wednesday night, the Aggies prevailed in a dominating performance to remain undefeated at home.
A&T’s defense held the Mountaineers to 43 points which is the fewest by any opponent this season. The Aggies also forced 24 turnovers and limited App State to 29 percent shooting from the field.
Senior forward Tracy King finished with a game-high 16 points and recorded her sixth consecutive game in double-figures. King shot 8-for-12 from the field and tallied three steals. Sophomore center Eboni Ross, who has been seeing increasing minutes for the Aggies, recorded 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Ross was superb from the field (5-for-6) and recorded a pair of blocks. Redshirt-sophomore Aprill McRae led the Aggies with 10 rebounds. McRae also added seven points and two blocks.
“We played a great defensive game tonight,” head coach Tarrell Robinson said. “Our defense has been our biggest attribute this season and I’m pleased with how it’s been in our last few games. I liked the balance we had on offense and it was good to get some players in the game who have been recuperating. We’re excited about the winning streak and we want to keep it going.”
The Aggies started the first half with several miscues, which allowed App State to take an 11-3 lead just three minutes into the game. A&T responded in the final minutes by clamping down on the Mountaineers defensively. App State scored connected on just three field goals over the final 17 minutes of the first half. When Ross made a turnaround jumper in the lane with 3:28 remaining in the half, she gave the Aggies a 23-18 lead, the same lead they took into the locker room.
A&T never lost its lead the rest of the night and went up 11 when junior guard Ariel Bursey drained a 3-pointer to push its advantage to 34-23 with 15:33 remaining in the game. The Aggies continued to dominate in the paint as they went 15-for-30 from the field in the second half and outscored the Mountaineers 38-22 in the paint.
KeKe Palmer recorded a double-double with 14 rebounds and 11 points for the Mountaineers. Maryah Synder finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
A&T will host Virginia University of Lynchburg on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m., at Corbett Sports Center.