CULLOWHEE, N.C. (November 29, 2018) – The North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team defeated Western Carolina 69-51 Thursday night at the Ramsey Center without their leading rebounder Alexus Lessears.
Freshman Charme Lilly led the Lady Aggies with 17 points going 5-5 from 3-point range in only 17 minutes of action. Freshman Rayven Peeples came away with her first career double-double as she posted 13 points and 11 rebounds. Junior C’Coriea Foy also had 13, while Cinia McCray chipped in with 11.
“We had a short bench, but we found a way to get this road win,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson. “I’m proud of our ladies for allowing our defense to set the tone for us. I’m especially happy with a few of our freshmen. Rayven Peeples producing a double-double in her first career start is only going to help her confidence as she continues to mature. Charme Lilly came off the bench to lead us in scoring and was a perimeter threat for us against Westerns zone. If these two young women continue learning while gaining game experience, we’re good to be pretty good in March.”
The Aggies (2-5) took home their first Division I win of the season to complement their DII win over Winston-Salem State. The Lady Aggies shot 42.2 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc. They held the Catamounts to 35.3 percent from the field but allowed them to shoot 37 percent from 3-point range.
N.C. A&T was okay in the first quarter leading 15-9 despite shooting just 32 percent from the floor. The Aggies were terrific in the second quarter. They established Peeples as a scoring and rebounding threat, junior Cinia McCray dropped a few perimeter shots and the Aggies turned their defense into offense effectively.
McCray netted one of her two second-quarter three-pointers with 3:46 remaining in the first half to give the Aggies a 26-15 lead. Freshman Taya Jones then went inside to Peeples for a bucket before McCray hit another three to put the Aggies ahead 31-15. A free throw apiece from junior Mikaya Wilson and Peeples completed the Aggies 10-0 run as they pulled in front 33-15 with a minute to play in the first half.
After a Catamount free throw, Peeples and McCray ended the half with a layup and a jump shot respectively to give the Aggies a 37-16 halftime lead. The Aggies would lead by as many as 24 in the second half as Lilly gave the Aggies a 47-23 lead with 6:26 remaining in the third quarter. It also marked the Aggies largest lead of the season.
The Aggies won their sixth straight over WCU and lead the all-time series, 9-7.
Foster lead WCU with 17 points. The Aggies will return to action noon Monday, December 10 at Corbett Sports Center as they take on Johnson C. Smith.
“We’re going to take advantage of our break during exams,” said Robinson. “We’ve got to develop more offensive chemistry and continuity.”