DAYTONA BEACH – A great shooting performance placed three players in double figures as the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team defeated Bethune-Cookman 69-55 in its MEAC opener at Moore Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies (11-2 overall, 1-0 MEAC) shot 52.7 percent from the field and were led by senior forward Tracy King with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds. King was 8-for-13 and added four steals. Redshirt sophomore Christina Carter chipped in 16 points and dished out a game-high seven assists. Redshirt junior Debbie Smith came off the bench to add 10 points, five rebounds and four assists to tally her second straight game scoring in double figures.

The Wildcats fell to 3-12 overall and 0-3 in the MEAC.

“I thought we did a good job of sharing the ball,” head coach Tarrell Robinson said. “We want to work our way to the top of the conference and this game was a great way to start that journey.”

After taking a 30-26 halftime lead, the Aggies opened up the second half on a 16-6 run capped off with a 3-pointer by Smith from Carter to extend their advantage to 46-32 with 10:24 remaining. Bethune-Cookman took advantage of an A&T turnover to score its next basket, cutting the score to 46-32. That was the closest the Wlidcats got the rest of the way. 

The Aggies controlled most of the first half as freshman Kenya Hailey put them on top 17-12 with a jumper at the 9:45 mark. BCU didn’t go away easily as it scored five straight points to trail the Aggies by two. A&T used a quick 9-2 rally to push their lead to 28-19 with 6:19 left. The rally was short-lived as the Wildcats halted the Aggies offense for nearly six minutes until DeAndra Davis hit a jumper with seven seconds remaining to give A&T a 30-26 edge heading into halftime.

Chastity Taylor led all players in scoring with 20 points. Shakeyia Colyer finished with 14 points, five steals, and three steals.

A&T dominated the paint where they scored 40 points and held BCU to 16. However both teams committed 21 turnovers which converted into 19 points for both squads.

A&T continues its MEAC schedule when it visits Florida A&M on Monday, Jan. 13. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.