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NORFOLK, Va. – Milestones continue to swarm around the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball program. Wednesday afternoon at the Norfolk Scope Arena the Aggies handled their business with a 79-49 blowout win of North Carolina Central in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Championship Tournament. 


In improving to 7-0 in quarterfinal games under head coach Tarrell Robinson, the Aggies (20-10) reached the 20-win plateau for the fifth time in the seven-year Robinson era. The Aggies also got their 28thstraight win over MEAC competition, and they can hold over the NCCU Eagles head that they own the in-state rivalry. The Aggies are 19-1 against NCCU since the Eagles joined the conference in 2010-11. Fifteen of those wins have been by double figures.


But the reason why the top-seeded Aggies, who finished the MEAC regular season 16-0 for the first time in program history, are back in Norfolk is for no other reason than to win another championship.   


“Everybody is excited about another 20-win season. It helps with recruiting because everyone wants to be a part of success,” said Robinson. “But in the end for us, it’s all about being the champs.”


N.C. A&T, who won their third MEAC regular-season championship in the past four years this season, took care of NCCU for the second time in six days. The Aggies defeated the Eagles (9-22) in their regular-season finale at Corbett Sports Center, 86-52 before freshman guard Jasmen Walton led the Aggies with a season-high 19 points in the win over NCCU on Wednesday.


Juniors C’Coriea Foy (14) and Cinia McCray (12) along with senior Charnise Tyler (11) also scored in double figures. N.C. A&T shot 64 percent in the second half against the Eagles last Thursday at Corbett. They remained hot to open Wednesday’s game by shooting 56.2 percent in the first half to take a 46-24 halftime lead. 


The Eagles put a small dent into the Aggies lead. A Caira Benton jump shot got the Eagles to within 15, 51-36, with 3:43 remaining in the third quarter. Shontai Totten would later hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in the third to send NCCU into the fourth quarter down 56-41. 


Robinson said he went  with a smaller lineup in the third quarter because post players such as juniors Le’on Hill and Alexus Lessears and Tyler were in foul trouble. The changes took N.C. A&T out of its offensive rhythm. Those players re-entered the game in the fourth and the walloping was on. 


N.C. A&T scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter to give the Aggies a convincing 71-41 lead. The Aggies next goal is to try to beat either No. 4 seed Norfolk State or No. 5 seed Howard. The Bison and the Spartans will play 2 p.m., Thursday at the Scope for the right to play N.C. A&T noon Friday. 


The Aggies defeated NSU by five in Norfolk and they defeated HU by five in Washington, D.C. Wednesday marked the 12thtime this season the Aggies have held an opponent under 50 points.


“Of course, we feel the pressure because we’re expected to win the championship,” said Foy. “But we eliminate the pressure by applying pressure. If the game ever gets hard, we know to go apply the pressure on defense. That’s what we know best.”