GREENSBORO (February 5, 2018) – North Carolina A&T did a masterful job of putting their first conference setback of the season in the rearview mirror as they came away with a convincing 75-55 win over Delaware State in women’s basketball Monday night at Corbett Sports Center.
N.C. A&T (13-8, 8-1 MEAC) opened the game with a fast-paced tempo. They eventually wore down the Hornets (4-19, 3-7 MEAC) before foul trouble and an abundance of turnovers made for Del State’s ultimate demise. Four Aggies scored in double figures led by sophomores Cinia McCray and C’Coriea Foy who had 14 apiece. Sophomore Alexus Lessears and graduate forward Jade Scaife had 12 apiece.
“I thought we played with a little more energy tonight,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson, comparing his team’s play from Saturday afternoon when they lost to Hampton. “We had a little more bounce defensively. Del State played that way as well, that's why the first quarter was pretty high scoring. When everybody got settled in, when we got settled in to what we want to do defensively, we took advantage of turnovers and got the outcome we wanted.”
The Hornets and the Aggies combined to score 44 points in the first quarter. N.C. A&T was 9-for-17 (.529) from the floor in the first while Del State shot 8-for-15 (.533) from the floor. The hot shooting resulted in the Aggies taking a 23-21 first-quarter lead as Foy and Scaife led the way. Foy scored seven points and had three rebounds, and Scaife scored on two put backs for six points and four rebounds.
“I think that's what it takes in order for our young women to get settled in,” said Robinson about the fast-pace start. “Based on our scout of Delaware State, I really didn't think that's what they do. I felt like they were going to run out of gas like I think they did.”
Quarter No. 2 was not as pretty. The two teams combined for only five field goals and neither team shot above 16 percent, but the Aggies still managed to take a 35-26 lead at halftime before breaking the game open in the third. Del State turned the ball over 10 times in the third quarter and the Aggies nearly made them pay for each one. The Aggies outscored the Hornets 18-2 in the third quarter in points off turnovers.
After Keke Barber cut the Aggies lead to 35-28, N.C. A&T went on a 21-0 run that lasted a little more than four minutes. Lessears had seven points and McCray had six during the spurt that saw the Aggies take a 56-28 lead with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter. The Aggies grew their lead to as many as 30 on a jumper from senior Quenswayla Story with 8:37 remaining in the game.
It was a dominant performance for an Aggies team that has won nine out of their last 10. Everything was lopsided in the Aggies favor Monday night as they outscored the Hornets 34-13 in points off turnovers, 16-4 in fastbreak points, 40-18 in points in the paint and 23-4 in second-chance points. The Aggies even outrebounded the Hornets 55-40 and attempted 18 more free throws.
“We're the best team in the league when everyone is involved and when everyone is playing for one cause and that's the victory,” said Robinson. “The Hampton game was an out-of-body experience for all our women. Hats off to Hampton, but I thought we had a great bounce back. We're still in pursuit of a championship. It's still in our hands.”
Robinson’s crew took care of business at home in the conference, going 5-1. Five of the Aggies next seven conference games are on the road starting with S.C. State 2 p.m., Saturday in Orangeburg, S.C. The good news is the Aggies are 3-0 on the road against the MEAC.