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A&T Drops Season Opener to No. 14 N.C. State

RALEIGH – Fourteenth-ranked North Carolina State connected on their first six shots as a catalyst to an 80-44 win over the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team at Reynolds Coliseum Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Junior guard Deja Winters, playing in her first game as an Aggie, had 17 points and added nine rebounds.

“Deja is very talented,” N.C. A&T coach Tarrell Robinson said.  “She can score the ball and she is really athletic and she’s still trying to figure out our system offensively and defensively. I hope that this game against this type of team will keep trending her in the right direction in terms of her production and hopefully, she can figure everything out.”

Senior center Alexus Lessears finished with seven points and 12 rebounds, while senior guard C’coriea Foy added 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Wolfpack’s hot start led to a 15-2 advantage. The Aggies did score the next five points to cut the Wolfpack’s lead to 15-7 at the end of the first quarter.

N.C. State scored the first five points to open the second quarter to increase the lead back to 13 points, 20-7, with 8:37 remaining. A Lessears free throw along with jump shots from Winters and sophomore Jasmen Walton helped the Aggies cut the lead to 22-12 with 4:11 remaining in the first half.

The Wolfpack, however, went on a 7-0 run to take a 29-12 with a little more than a minute remaining in the first half as N.C. State led 30-14 at the half.

North Carolina State scored the first five points of the third quarter to increase the lead to 21 points, 35-14. The Wolfpack eventually grew their lead to 44 before the action ended.

The Aggies outrebounded NCSU 35-30.  Last season, the Wolfpack ranked 19th in the NCAA averaging 42.53 rebounds per game. 

“Alexus did a good job crashing the boards,” Robinson said.  “We didn’t take care of the ball at one point. I think in the third quarter we had 20 turnovers and we finished the game with 26.  We talked to our players about playing a top-25 program and just watching how they move the ball. They share the ball, they make the easy read and try not to over complicate things. I thought we did well holding them to 30 points going into halftime.”

The Wolfpack was led by Jada Boyd with a game-high 18 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

The Aggies host Johnson & Wales Saturday at 2 p.m. for their home opener at Corbett Sports Center.