GREENSBORO – As another solid season for the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball program goes down in the books, the future for the 2014-15 season and years to come continues to look brighter and brighter.
Although they were short of missing their goal of winning a conference championship, their list of accolades can go on for days. They posted their seventh 20-plus win season, two consecutive seasons under second year head coach Tarrell Robinson, along with two straight appearances in the postseason.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” explained Robinson. “We want a conference championship and another appearance in the NCAA. We want it right now but obviously it’s a process. I have a good group that I think can take us there.”
The Aggies (24-7) got off to their best start in school history with a 7-1 mark. They also posted a nine-game winning streak and were 12-1 at Corbett Sports Center. A&T also was the 2014 MEAC regular-season runner up. The Aggies also capped off their season by finishing fourth in the nation in scoring defense (54.6).
Seniors Tracy King and DeAndra Davis played a pivotal role in enhancing the program. King became the 14th player to enter the 1,000-point club at A&T and finished with a career total of 1,172 points. King also was named to the second-team All-MEAC and led the nation in steals during a point in the season. Davis posted her best season of her four-year career in 2013-14 as she transitioned into a starter and was named one of the team captains along with King.
“Tracy and DD will be missed,” said Robinson. “They’ve done a lot for the program and it has been a pleasure coaching them.”
Although the Aggies will be saying goodbye to their veteran leadership, they are still surrounded with several experienced players who will be able to continue pushing the program forward next season.
Redshirt sophomores and post players Aprill McRae and Eboni Ross will be back next season to help out A&T in the post. Their presence on the floor caused opponents problems all season. McRae was also second-team All-MEAC selection and was third on the team in scoring (8.9). Ross who battled an ongoing injury all season was the conference's best shooter (54.5 percent). Also joining the duo will be Clemson transfer Natiece Ford (6-2, Holly Springs, N.C.).
Redshirt sophomore guard Christina Carter, who led the league in assists (5.2), had a good outing in her first year in the Blue and Gold. She notched 22 games where she tallied five or more assists. Assisting her next season will be rising senior Adriana Nazario who missed most of the season after she tore her anterior cruciate ligament on Dec .21.
Shooting guards Ariel Bursey and Debbie Smith who combined for 57 3-pointers this season will aid the perimeter as the Aggies can expect to have another deep bench behind returners Kenya Hailey, Temitope Oladele, Whitney Martin, Makayla Williams, and Mia Rudd.
Aggie fans will also meet redshirt sophomore guard Dana Brown, a transfer from UNCW who sat out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. Robinson also signed another impressive recruiting class in November that features guards Maiya Gibson (5-8, Baltimore), Kala Green (5-9, Round Rock, Texas), wing Michelle Fitzgerald (5-11, Baltimore) and forward Quenswayla Story (6-1, Richmond, Va.).
When asked what can Aggie fans expect to see from the newcomers, Robinson grinned and replied, “I’m going to keep that under my vest and wait until they get here and let the fans see next season.”