GREENSBORO (December 19, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team played six sophomores Tuesday afternoon against Western Carolina at Corbett Sports Center. Only one of those sophomores played significant minutes last season. They played one graduate transfer, Jade Scaife, who did not play on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship team in 2016. The Aggies also played one senior, Quenswayla Story, who averaged 9.5 minutes that season.
But it is Kala Green who garnered the most experience from that championship run, averaging 27.9 minutes per game. And it is Green, with all of her experience, who has caught fire recently which is good news for the Aggies. Green followed up her 23-point, six 3-pointers performance against Georgia last Thursday with 17 points and four assists in the Aggies 68-59 win over the Catamounts in front hundreds of cheering Guilford County students on Education Day at Corbett.
Sophomore C’Coriea Foy added 18 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Scaife posted 11 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Le’on Hill finished with a career-high 16 rebounds, seven on the offensive end. Green is 9-for-16 from 3-point range in her last two games.
“(Kala) is going to be very important to our chances of winning a championship,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson. “If and when we win a championship, it will be on the backs of her, Q and Scaife. But Kala and Q know what it takes. I really want them to take ownership of this team and this program.”
Green, who comes off the bench for N.C. A&T, made her first appearance at the 7:48 mark of the first quarter. A minute later she was into the scoring column with a 3-pointer that sparked an 11-0 run that included five points from Green and four points from Scaife as the Aggies took a 17-4 lead with 3:06 remaining in the first quarter.
N.C. A&T, who led from tip to finish and saw their lead increase to as many as 20 during the game, had moments where it appeared they were going to let the Catamounts (2-9) back into the game.
The Catamounts were within six by the end of the first quarter, 18-12. They were within four 3 ½ minutes into the second quarter before the Aggies sprinted out to a 15-1 run thanks to seven points from Foy and a three from Green that gave the Aggies a 35-17 lead with 1:42 remaining in the first half. The Aggies (4-6) maintained an 18-point lead at the half, 37-19, before WCU got the lead down to 45-35 by the end of the third quarter.
The inconsistencies, Robinson says, is the reason why his senior leadership is so vital. Sophomores Shantell Bostick, Cinia McCray and Hill averaged a little more than 10 minutes per game last season. Foy sat out last season, and sophomore Chrishyanah Alston sat out the majority of last season.
“A lot of our ladies have not played significant minutes before, so we’re still maturing,” said Robinson. “We didn’t do a good job of staying on (WCU). We jumped on them early, then got laxed, so we have to get better. It’s definitely going to be a maturation process with this group.”
WCU threatened to take down the Aggies sizable leads twice in the fourth quarter. A Tess Harris 3-pointer brought the Catamounts to within eight at 50-42 with 6:05 remaining in the game. But a bucket from Green followed by a 3-pointer from Foy rebuffed that attempt. WCU was within eight again, 58-50, on a JonTay Mitchem layup with 2:07 to play.
A corner three from Green and another three from Foy finally put WCU away as the Aggies took a 64-50 lead with 1:18 remaining.
Sherae Bonner led the Catamounts with 20 points and 14 rebounds. N.C. A&T does not return to action until Thursday, Oct. 28 when they travel to Athens, Ohio to face the Ohio Bobcats. The Aggies defeated the Bobcats 63-57 last season in Corbett.