GREENSBORO (February 17, 2018) – One never wants to make assumptions, but by all indications, the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team did not appreciate there one and only Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game two weeks ago.
After losing to Hampton at home on Feb. 3, the Aggies defeated each of their next three opponents by at least 15 points. On Saturday afternoon at Corbett Sports Center, the Aggies really took things out on the Howard Bison. In perhaps their most complete performance of the 2017-18 season, the Aggies blew out Howard 91-53 on a day where four-year seniors Kala Green and Quenswayla Story were honored along with graduate forward Jade Scaife.
It was the most lopsided win the Aggies have ever had over the Bison in the 77-game history of the series out pacing the 35 points the Aggies beat the Bison by on Feb. 2, 2008. The Aggies were five points shy of scoring the most points they have ever scored against Howard, which was 95 during the 1993-94 season. In a game that was filled with superlatives for the Aggies, their 91 points were the most points they have scored against a Division I opponent this season. Those 91 points are also the most the Aggies have scored against a Division I foe since beating S.C. State 101-61 on Feb. 25, 2012.
The Aggies, who have won four straight, have won those games by an average margin of 23.3 points.
“We wanted to send our seniors out the right way, and they did that with an exclamation point,” said N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson. “It starts with our seniors because they are the foundation. Our seniors are who our underclassmen are looking at through the ups and downs of the season, and I think the result today is just a result of our seniors staying focused and not letting anything get in our way.”
Senior Kala Green had 19 points and three assists on her special night to lead the Aggies (16-8, 11-1 MEAC). The youth also stepped up for the Aggies. Sophomore guard Cinia McCray posted 15 points and sophomore center Alexus Lessears finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
In her best game as an Aggie, sophomore point guard Mikaya Wilson posted career highs in points (9), assists (8) and steals (3). She was 4-for-5 from the floor and committed only one turnover.
“This is how we envisioned her playing when we brought her in here,” said Robinson about the Appalachian State transfer. “She is a tremendous athlete, a great defender on the ball and she is a great playmaker in transition. I’m excited about what she is getting ready to do for this program, and I hope from this point forward she starts to turn that corner.”
N.C. A&T was aggressive and effective offensively from the start. The Aggies put up 26 shots in the first quarter and turned the ball over once. Howard was still within four in the first quarter, 18-14, on two Asia McCants free throws. But Green drove to the basket for a layup, Wilson followed up her own miss with a runner in the lane and then hit a free throw to put the Aggies ahead 23-14. Howard’s Imani Bryant ended the first on a layup to trail by seven going into the second period.
Howard, who lost to the Aggies 76-68 in Washington, D.C. earlier this season, were overtaken by an inspired group of Aggies once the second quarter started. Wilson opened the Aggies scoring in the second with a jumper, followed by a McCray steal and layup. McCray then took a pass from Wilson and connected on a three to give the Aggies a 32-16 lead with 6:05 remaining in the first half.
Howard scored the next five points before the Aggies scored the final seven points of the half to lead 39-21 at halftime. N.C. A&T’s lead only grew from there as they picked up their 12th victory in 13 games. The Aggies are still one game behind Bethune-Cookman (20-4, 12-0) for the conference lead.
Green, Scaife and Story will actually play their final games at Corbett on Monday when the Aggies face Maryland Eastern Shore at 5:30 p.m. The Aggies will then play their final three games on the road at Florida A&M, at B-CU and at North Carolina Central.