GREENSBORO (November 21, 2017) – Expectations were high for sophomore C’Coriea Foy after she transferred from Power Five school Alabama to historic North Carolina A&T State University. Those expectations were hard to meet at first because she sat out a season as a Division I transfer, therefore, there was a little rust she had to shake off first. But nights like Tuesday show how Foy is progressing toward doing what she was brought to N.C. A&T to do.
Foy finished with 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the floor and 5-for-9 shooting from 3-point range to lead the N.C. A&T women’s basketball team to a convincing 81-56 win over in-state rival Appalachian State. The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Aggies (2-2) and it makes up for losing their last home game to Elon.
“We did not play the way are capable of playing the last time we were in front of our home fans, so we wanted to come out and play a lot better today at home,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson. “Right now, we’re only playing with nine young ladies, but I trust all of them.”
Robinson called one of those young ladies into his office this past week to discuss living up to expectations. Robinson made it clear she was brought to N.C. A&T to make an immediate impact. In some ways, she has. She had a big second half against Georgia Southern on Nov. 10 to lead the Aggies to an 11-point victory. But in losses to Elon and Auburn, she was a combined 9-for-31 from the field.
“Yes, I did feel the weight of those expectations on me,” said Foy. “I know every game if a couple of us don't put up certain numbers then we're not going to have the kind of outcome we want. I didn't feel like I performed the way I should have in the Auburn game which hindered us from winning the game. “
There was no such hindrance against App State. Foy didn’t get off to a fast start, but senior Kala Green did. Green scored nine first-quarter points to help the Aggies secure a 15-11 lead after the opening quarter. Foy then stepped in and did what she is expected to do, cause havoc defensively and score in bunches offensively. Forty-seven seconds into the second quarter she received a pass out of the post from sophomore Alexus Lessears and netted a 3-pointer. Ninety seconds later it was sophomore Le’on Hill who found Foy open on the perimeter for another three and a 21-11 Aggies lead.
After Kaila Craven hit a 3-pointer for the Mountaineers, Foy scored on a mid-range jump shot before sophomore Cinia McCray took a cross-court pass from Green and hit a corner three to give the Aggies a 26-14 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half. Another McCray 3-pointer grew the Aggies lead to 29-15. McCray finished with 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.
“They sat in their 2-3 zone and in order to get people out of the zone, you've got to make shots,” said Robinson. “It was great to see us go 10-for-20 shooting and shoot 50 percent from three. I hope to get that for the rest of the season.”
App State did cut the lead to nine with 1:09 remaining in the half, but Quenswayla Story hit a jump shot just inside the free throw line to put the Aggies ahead 38-27 at the half.
Foy’s third quarter made sure the Mountaineers (0-5) could not mount a credible threat. Foy scored 13 third-quarter points aided by a 3-for-4 showing from beyond the arc. Foy hit two three-pointers in the opening 90 seconds of the quarter to give the Aggies a 44-29 lead. App State did get the lead to eight, 50-42, on a Craven three. But McCray quickly answered from the elbow with a 3-pointer, which was followed by two McCray free throws, a Foy 3-pointer and an easy layup from Hill. Lessears ended the Aggies 11-0 run with a free throw to give N.C. A&T a 60-42 lead with 1:13 remaining in the third.
The run was just what the Aggies needed as their lead ballooned to as many as 28 in the fourth quarter. Green finished with a season-high 17 points to along with five assists. Craven ended her night with 14 points for the Mountaineers.
“Tonight, lets us know we're better than what we think we are,” said Foy. “Sometimes we have certain doubts about whether we should do certain things in the game, but for the most part if we just stick to the game plan, listen to and do what coach Rob tells us and don’t second guess ourselves, everything will be okay.”
Those are excellent tools to have for meeting expectations. The Aggies will do what they traditionally do and play in a Thanksgiving tournament. They will play in the Cavalier Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by the University of Virginia. They will open with Duquesne on Saturday, Nov. 25 (4 p.m.) before playing Harvard on Sunday, Nov. 26 (1 p.m.).