EAST GREENSBORO (January 21, 2109) – Two of North Carolina A&T’s best shooters sat out Monday night, so women’s basketball needed someone to fill the huge void left by the absence of freshman Charme Lilly and junior Cinia McCray.
Junior C’Coriea Foy more than made up for the loss of production with an assist from freshman Taya Jones off the bench. Foy finished with a season-high 25 points to go along with five assists on 10-for-22 shooting as the Aggies improved to 8-10 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 66-42 win over Coppin State at Corbett Sports Center.
The Aggies connected on a season-high 10 3-pointers with Foy making four of them. Jones finished with 14 points and six rebounds and was 4-for-10 from long distance. Another freshman, Jasmen Walton, hit the other two threes.
Foy said Coppin State playing off to dare her to take jump shots got her motivated along with the fact the Aggies were missing two good shooters.
“We shared the basketball and that helps with our team’s confidence,” said Foy. “When our young players know we trust them they start shooting the ball more. The more Jasmen got comfortable, she was willing to take open shots. Taya is a shooter, so every time she gets the ball we need her to have the confidence to shoot it. That helps with our team chemistry because we don’t have to put all the pressure on one person.”
The Aggies, who have now defeated 23 of the last 25 MEAC foes it has faced including in the MEAC tournament, got their second straight blowout win. The Aggies held Morgan State to 29 points on Saturday before holding the Eagles to 22.2 percent shooting on Monday. Monday’s fourth quarter decided the game. The Aggies were 10-for-16 from the floor in the final period while the Eagles (1-17, 1-5 MEAC) were just 1-for-9.
“In the first half I thought Coppin State did a good job with dictating the tempo, slowing us down,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson. “They executed on their end and we took some quick shots. In the fourth quarter, we started playing to our advantage and that’s when we started to get into a groove. We pushed the ball into transition and got some easy baskets. Our confidence started to roll, and we started executing offensively.”
N.C. A&T led 39-31 going into the fourth quarter. Foy started punishing the Eagles early from the outside. Thirteen seconds into the final period she netted a three to put the Aggies up by double-digits. At the 8:29 mark, Foy found an open Jones in the corner for another 3-pointer that gave the Aggies a 47-34 lead. Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Foy hit another three to push the lead to 16.
Coppin’s Chance Graham hit two free throws to slow the Aggies down a little. But the Aggies turned to their transition game after knocking down a few threes as Foy stole the ball from Graham and scored on the break to give N.C. A&T a 52-36 lead. When Shantell Bostick got into the open floor and found junior Le’on Hill open on a bounce pass the Aggies had a 57-37 with 3:48 remaining in the game leading to the Eagles calling timeout.
The Aggies had 15 assists and 12 turnovers marking the third time this season they had more assists than turnovers.
“We recognize that we have so many weapons, and that is one of the reasons that we’re still working on our chemistry as we try to get healthy,” said Robinson. ‘Hopefully, this starts a trend where we have more assists than turnovers. We need to keep that going.”
N.C. A&T trailed by as many as five in the first quarter, but a 3-pointer from Jones at the end of the quarter gave the Aggies a 13-9 advantage. Coppin opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run aided by the rebounding and scoring of Jalynda Salley. The Aggies would finally grab the lead for good as junior point guard Mikaya Wilson found Foy open on the break to give the Aggies a 20-19 lead with 3:16 remaining in the first half.
Jones added a three to put the Aggies up four before N.C. A&T took a 25-22 lead into halftime. Foy helped the Aggies to start to pull away in the third quarter with back-to-back threes to give N.C. A&T a 39-29 lead with 46 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Salley led the Eagles with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Aggies head to Durham Saturday to face chief rival N.C. Central at 2 p.m.