WASHINGTON, DC (January 22, 2018) – If the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team sees every game as their championship game then they are exhibiting some good traits for March.
The Aggies once again proved they know how to execute late in games to get victories. Monday was the latest example as the Aggies downed Howard 76-68 at Burr Gymnasium to win their sixth straight. N.C. A&T (10-7, 5-0 MEAC) is in a first-place tie with Bethune-Cookman for the lead in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference as they won their third straight road conference game.
Sophomore C’Coriea Foy led the Aggies with 22 points. Three other Aggies scored in double figures including graduate forward Jade Scaife who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds (five on the offensive end) off the bench. Senior Kala Green also came off the bench to score in double figures with 12 and sophomore center Alexus Lessears finished with 10.
The Aggies are on their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season when they ran off 11 in a row toward the end of the season. They are 5-0 in the league for the first time since the 2009-10 season when they started conference play 12-0 and finished regular-season champions at 14-2.
“It was another character win for us on the road,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson. “The great thing about this is that we got a win and we still get to learn lessons from it.”
N.C. A&T knows how to close. They outscore their opponents in the fourth quarter by more than 70 points and by more than 100 points in the second half. Like Saturday at Maryland Eastern Shore, the Aggies began pulling away in the third quarter. The Aggies outscored the Bison 11-4 over the final five minutes of the third quarter. The run was capped off by a Green 3-pointer that gave the Aggies a 53-42 lead with 1:13 remaining in the period.
Howard (6-12, 2-3 MEAC) did fight their way back into the game. Two free throws from Ayonna Williams brought the Bison to within four, 64-60, with 1:42 remaining in the game. Once again, the Aggies executed late. Sophomore Shantell Bostick started a break off a defensive rebound to connect with Green for an easy layup. Senior Quenswayla Story then found a cutting Green going to the basket for another layup and a 68-60 Aggies lead with 1:15 to play.
Over the final minute of the contest, the Aggies did their job at the free throw line as line. They were 6-for-8 over that stretch to seal the win.
“They are one of those young up and coming teams like we are,” said Robinson about Howard. “They have a lot of fight in them and they’re going to be good. Given that, I thought we responded well.”
Howard was led by Williams who finished with 18 points. Jayla Myles had 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Aggies return home to face their archrival on Saturday as the Aggies and the N.C. Central Eagles will tussle at 2 p.m., at Corbett Sports Center.
“It means we're still at the top of heap,” said Robinson about his team being 5-0 in the league. “We're not looking up at anybody. I tell them every game this is our championship, and we have to respond every time. It's a good feeling.”