HAWKS LATE RALLY FALLS SHORT IN LOSS TO AGGIES
Jan. 28, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. - In a classic great offense versus great defense affair, it was the North Carolina A&T University offense that managed to score just enough, as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball team dropped a 53-50 decision to the Aggies at the Corbett Sports Center. Despite the loss, UMES forced 21 turnovers and held the Aggies to their lowest point total of the season.
After a steal and a layup by senior guard Kwinnyata Mercer (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), UMES found itself down by just one with 1:13 left in the game. The Hawks had several opportunities over the final minute of play to either tie the game or take the lead, but the Aggies would hold on to thwart the late Hawk rally.
UMES (6-12, 3-3 MEAC) grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the game when junior guard Sha-Kiyla Finney (Portsmouth, Va.) made a layup 20 seconds in before the NCAT (8-12, 3-4 MEAC) tallied 10 of the games next 12 points to post a 10-4 advantage after four minutes. The Hawks held a 9-3 scoring advantage over the next several minutes, as the women knotted the game up at 13 on a three by Mercer with half of the period left to play.
The teams would trade baskets before UMES took a four-point lead courtesy of a pair of field goals by junior forward Chelsea Sanders (Rochester, N.Y.). It was an even affair over the next few minutes before the Aggies went on a 7-2 run at the five minute mark to take a one-point lead with just under two minutes left. The Aggies went on to record another basket before halftime, as they held a 26-23 advantage at half.
The Hawks forced the Aggies into 12 first-half turnovers and posted an 8-2 advantage in points-off-turnovers at half.
After a few Aggie baskets to begin the second, UMES used consecutive layups by senior guard Amber Cook (Greensboro, N.C.) and sophomore forward Shanyce Stewart (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) to cut its deficit to one. The margin was as close as the Hawks would get for the next 12 minutes as the NCAT posted an eight-point lead, 44-36, with 8:05 remaining.
UMES would come storming back as the Hawks scored 10 unanswered points over the next four minutes to take a two-point lead, 46-44, following a steal and layup by Cook. The Aggies would score the next four points before consecutive free-throws by Sanders evened the score at 48 with just under three to go.
The Aggies cashed in with a three-pointer by Amber Calvin on their next possession to take the lead and would benefit from a pair of Hawk turnovers over the final minute to pick up the win.
The Hawks were led in the game by senior forward Adobi Agbasi (Columbus, Ga.), who had a team-high eight rebounds, 10 points and four blocks. She came off the bench to register a 4-for-9 effort from the field and collected her eighth straight game with at least three blocks. Agbasi was one of four Hawks in double-digits as Sanders (four rebounds, one steal) posted 13 points, Cook (six rebounds) had 12 and Mercer (three steals) notched 10.
The Aggies saw Tiffanie Adair post game-highs in points (15) and rebounds (10) to collect the only double-double of the game. Nikia Gorham had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Amber Calvin had five steals.
The maroon and gray will stay in North Carolina for their next contest as the Hawks square off with North Carolina Central University on Monday, Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. UMES has won two of the past three contests against NC Central.