Nov. 15, 2014
The Aggies held a 20-17 lead late in the first half until a three-point field goal by Justice Swett (So., Nashville, Tenn.) started a half-closing 9-2 run by the Mids that gave them a 28-22 lead at the break. Navy then quickly extended its margin out to nine points (31-22) on a triple by Danielle Poblarp (So., Topeka, Kan.) less than one minute into the second half.
Navy’s lead was again at nine points at 35-26 following a jumper by Haley Unger (Fr., Marlboro, N.J.) at the 15:56 mark, but those would be the last points scored by the Mids until a layup by Sarah Reilly (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) tied the score at 37-37 with 6:38 left on the clock.
North Carolina A&T continued its second surge by building a five-point lead at 44-39 with just over five minutes left to play on the clock. Navy answered just as quickly with an 8-3 run that placed the teams into a 47-47 tie on a Poblarp layup with 2:07 remaining in the game. Navy’s sophomore guard also was fouled on the play, but she was unable to convert the attempt from the charity stripe and her carom was grabbed by the Aggies.
The home team would miss three shots from the floor on its next trip down the court before Aprill McRae was fouled with 90 seconds remaining. After missing her first shot from the line, she made the second to break the tie (48-47).
Swett missed a jumper on Navy’s ensuing possession, but that was followed by North Carolina A&T missing a three-point attempt on its next trip down the floor. Navy senior team captain Chloe Stapleton, who was playing near her hometown of Cary, N.C., missed a three-point attempt with 36 seconds left. Her teammate, Marina Muenster (Fr., Coppell, Texas), grabbed the rebound, but she had it stolen from her by Christina Carter. Muenster was immediately whistled for a foul on Carter, who missed the front end of the bonus with Muenster recording a defensive carom on the errant shot with 32 seconds remaining.
Back came the Mids, with Rebecca Richmond (Jr., Superior, Colo.) eventually missing a three-point attempt with 24 seconds left to play. The previous sequence repeated itself as Muenster grabbed the loose ball before Carter stole it from her. After a timeout by the Aggies with 20 seconds left, Richmond fouled Adriana Nazario with 17 seconds showing on the clock. She would make both foul shots to boost the Aggies into a 50-47 lead.
Navy would turn the ball over to North Carolina A&T with 10 seconds remaining, with Hannah Fenske (Fr., Albuquerque, N.M.) then immediately fouling Carter. This time Carter made both of the free throw attempts to close out the scoring in the game.
The Mids shot 45 percent from the field in the first half, which included a 7 of 14 effort from three-point range. However, Navy was just 1 of 12 from beyond the arc in the second half as part of a 30-percent mark from the field in all over the final 20 minutes of play.
Both Navy and North Carolina A&T would sink 18 field goals in the game, with the Mids holding an 8-4 advantage in three-point field goals made. Navy shot 36 percent from the floor and was 8 of 26 (30.8%) from three-point range on the night, while North Carolina A&T shot 34.6 percent from the field was just 4 of 17 (23.5%) from three-point land. However, the Aggies were 12 of 15 (80%) from the foul line in the game while the Mids were 3 of 6 (50%) from the charity stripe.
And though the Mids held a decisive 41-29 advantage on the glass, including a 17-11 cushion on the offensive boards, the Aggies forced Navy into 29 turnovers (16 of them on steals) while committing just 14 turnovers of their own (11 on steals).
Four Mids made the first start of their respective careers Friday, with half of the 10 players who took to the court appearing in their first collegiate game. Those five rookies would combine to score 33 points and grab 28 rebounds.
Individually, Unger would lead Navy with 11 points, Swett and Reilly each tallied 10 points, while that trio also totaled 19 rebounds (seven each by Unger and Swett).
McRae led all players in the game with 12 points on offense, while Carter swiped seven steals on defense.
Navy will remain on the road for a Sunday afternoon game at Elon.