N.C. A&T Falls In First Cavalier Classic Game
CHAROLLETVILLE, Va. (November 25, 2017) – Sophomore Alexus Lessears recorded her fourth career double-double and first this season finishing with 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in a 73-60 loss to Duquesne on Day 1 of the Cavalier Classic hosted by the University of Virginia. North Carolina A&T (2-3) tallied a season-best 50 rebounds and forced a season-high 18 turnovers.
“We did not get off to a good start, it seemed as if we were still celebrating Thanksgiving,” said Aggies coach Tarrell Robinson “They jumped on us early building a 20-10 lead in the first. I thought we got into some kind of a groove in the last three quarters, but we still did not do a good job of executing. We are a young group, and I am trying to get them to understand that in order to win in environments like this and against good teams like Duquesne we have to follow our game plan and do exactly what we work on in practice. We will bounce back, and I am hoping that we will give a better effort tomorrow.”
Duquesne built a 17-point lead by the second period after holding the Aggies to 33 percent shooting from the field in the first quarter. But After the Dukes 7-0 run gave Duquesne a 27-10 lead to open the second, the Aggies answered with a run of their own. Sophomore Le’on Hill used a 3-point play to spark N.C. A&T followed by Lessears and sophomore Cinia McCray scoring in the paint to make it 27-17 with 7:14 remaining in the first half.
Despite outscoring the Dukes 8-4 within the quarter on points off turnovers the Aggies went into halftime down, 42-29. The Aggies bench contributed 10 of 15 third-quarter points behind the duo of sophomores Chrishyanah Alston and Shantell Bostick. Alston made a pair of jump shots while Bostick converted on 3-for-4 free throws pacing the Aggies scoring. Duquesne maintained their lead and kept their double-figure advantage outscoring N.C. A&T 17-15 in the period.
Senior Kala Green opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and led the Aggies with five points in the period. Green’s layup with 2:04 remaining brought the Dukes lead down to 13, 70-57, which was the closest margin of the second half. Duquesne held off the Aggies and had four players score in double figures. The Dukes shot 50 percent from the field.
Despite shooting 30 percent from the floor, N.C. A&T held a 50-40 advantage on the boards highlighted by 21 offensive boards that turned into 14 second-chance points. In the second half alone, Lessears scored nine points and had 11 rebounds.
“Alexus started to make the game simple,” Robinson added. “She is a good rebounder, and I told her that from Day 1. As her offense continues to get better she has to always bring that attribute to the game.”
The Aggie bench outscored the Dukes’ 24-20. Scaife scored a season-high six points and tied her season best with five rebounds. Hill and Alston notched career-high scoring totals with five points and seven points, respectively.
N.C. A&T takes on Harvard in their first-ever meeting at 1 p.m. in the Cavalier Classic on Sunday, Nov. 26.