NORFOLK, Va. – Three players scored in double figures for North Carolina A&T State as the second-seeded Aggies defeated fourth-seeded Coppin State 65-46 to win the 2016 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament championship.

It was the school’s first tournament crown since 2009 and third overall.

“Extremely happy for my ladies, for our seniors,” Aggies coach Tarrell Robinson said. “Our theme coming in was respect. Coming into the tournament, no one was talking about North Carolina A&T State University… our mission coming in was to improve.

“I’m happy with our performance.” [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B00MABRMOO” locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]

Christina Carter led the Aggies (19-11) with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, while Dana Brown and Kala Green each added 12 points. Aprill McRae, the tournament’s Outstanding Player, added nine points and six rebounds.

Courtney Powell also had nine points to go along with 12 boards.

“The last time we played Coppin (in the regular season), we got murdered on the boards,” Robinson said.

For the Aggies, it came down to rebounding and defense; Coppin State shot just under 29-percent for the game. Though the Eagles (16-16) had shot well in their previous three games in the tournament, the fourth game was a different story.

N.C. A&T State led by 11 after the first quarter, and after 20 minutes, the lead was 37-29. Brown had nine of her points in the first 20 minutes, and the Aggies shot almost 47-percent in the first half.

Carter gave the Aggies a 42-31 lead with 6:11 left in the third quarter on a fastbreak layup, but Coppin State went on a 10-2 run, cutting the lead to 44-41 with 2:22 left in the quarter after back-to-back jumpers from Keena Samuels.

But Michelle Fitzgerald answered with a top-of-the-key three 10 seconds later to end the run and let A&T re-establish control.

The Aggies led by nine after the third quarter, and ballooned to double digits as the fourth quarter opened. Samuels sank a layup with 6:24 left to play to cut the lead back to single digits, 53-44, before the Aggies closed the game on a 12-2 run.

N.C. A&T State shot 42-percent from the floor and hit six of its 15 shots from behind the arc.

Samuels led Coppin State with a game-high 20 points.

“I’ll be anticipating Selection Monday (for the NCAA Tournament),” Robinson, the tournament’s Outstanding Coach, said. “There was a Selection Sunday for the WNIT, but we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

2016 MEAC Women’s Basketball All-Tournament Team

Aprill McRae (North Carolina A&T State)

Dana Brown (North Carolina A&T State)

Amber Griffin (Coppin State)

Janelle Lane (Coppin State)

Malia Tate-DeFreitas (Hampton)

Tournament Most Outstanding Player

Aprill McRae (North Carolina A&T State)

Tournament Most Outstanding Coach

Tarrell Robinson (North Carolina A&T State)

Courtesy: MEAC


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here