N.C. A&T Aggie Women win Round Two WNIT Basketball Game on Sunday night at Corbett Center:Aggies take down one of the most historic programs in Women’s College Basketball History, 48-45(Remember those ODU teams with Nancy Liberman and Anne Donovan???)

N.C. A&T 48
Winner N.C. A&T 22-11,13-5 CAA
Old Dominion 45
Old Dominion 22-10,12-6 Sun Belt

Score By Periods

Team	        1	2	3	4	F
Old Dominion	6	12	14	13	45
N.C. A&T	9	14	13	12	48

from www.ncataggies.com
Aggies Survive and Advance on Bracone Game-Winning Three!
The Aggies will host either FIU or Troy Friday night at 7.
GREENSBORO – When the story of North Carolina A&T women’s basketball is completed, history will show the hero of Sunday’s night Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) was senior guard Maleia Bracone after she netted a 3-pointer in front of the A&T to bench with 0.9 seconds remaining in the game to advance the Aggies to the third round of the WNIT with a 48-45 win over Old Dominion University (ODU) at Corbett Sports Center.

But if you ask Bracone, she might point to a different hero.

“In my head, I was like don’t miss, don’t miss, don’t miss,” said Bracone about her thought process as she released the game-winner. “This season really wasn’t the best season for me shooting-wise. But just knowing D’Mya (Tucker) trusted me meant so much. I have the mindset of shooters shoot, it’s going to fall, it’s going to fall. Just keep working on it. Luckily, it went in and ended up winning the game.”

Bracone shot 33 percent from 3-point range in her debut season as an Aggie in 2022-23. But she is shooting 25.3 percent this season, and before she hit one of the biggest shots in program history, she was 0-for-4 from three on Sunday. But as time expired in the fourth quarter, junior forward Talia Davis floated a pass to Tucker at the elbow near A&T’s bench. Tucker drew a double team. From Tucker’s postgame comments, she had lost zero faith in Bracone’s ability to shoot the rock.

“I know our reads,” said Tucker. “I knew if the help didn’t step up to me, I either had a shot at the elbow or a drive. But if (Bracone’s) man helped, her three was going to be open, and fortunately, they left our shooter open, so I just passed her the ball because I knew she was open.”

Bracone finished with 17 points and a career-high seven steals on 6-for-12 shooting from inside the 3-point arc in a game where offense did not come easy. The Aggies held the Monarchs to under 20 points in the first half as they carried a 23-18 lead into the half. A&T led 36-30 on a short jumper in the paint by sophomore center Chaniya Clark.

However, Brenda Fontana put back her miss to send the Monarchs into the fourth quarter trailing by four points. ODU then scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to take a 37-36 lead. It marked ODU’s first lead since the 5:10 mark of the second quarter. A&T recaptured the lead on two Tucker free throws before the Monarchs scored the next four points to take a 41-38 lead with 7:11 to play.

Both teams went the next two minutes without scoring before Davis took a pass from Jordyn Davis and netted a 3-pointer to tie the game at 41-41. Simone Cunningham hit a jump shot in the paint to give ODU the lead back before Bracone took over the game. She drove to the basket and scored on a tough layup to tie the game at 43-43 with 3:50 to play.

She then intercepted a Halima Salat pass and raced to the other end to score to give A&T the lead back. Seconds later, Kaye Clark got inside the lane and scored for ODU to tie the game at 45-45 with three minutes remaining. The two teams went 2 ½ minutes without scoring, but with 19.9 seconds to play, Tucker took a charge from Mimi McCollister to return possession to the Aggies to set up Bracone’s game-winner.

“I can tell they want to win,” said A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson. “This kid here (Tucker), her elbow was by the rim grabbing rebounds. This young lady right here (Bracone) was getting on the floor and getting in passing lanes. We were boxing out. We were going to the rim hard. We just have to clean up the execution stuff. We have to make our free throws. Make our layups. Make the right reads.”

Tucker added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies. A&T’s defense has been superb thus far in the WNIT. The 2023-24 A&T women’s basketball team is the second team in program history to win two WNIT games after the 2009-10 team did the same with wins at Wake Forest and Charlotte.

The Aggies have held their opponents to a combined 35.6 percent shooting while holding them to 48.0 points per game. A&T, who improved to 22-11 on the season and 4-5 all-time in the WNIT, will face Florida International University or Troy on Friday night.

FIU and Troy play Monday at 7 p.m., in Troy, Ala. Clark had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Monarchs.

“One other (A&T) team got this point, and now we are at that point, and we want to surpass it,” said Robinson. “It’s just a blessing to be able to play at home again on Friday against FIU or Troy. They will get a break tomorrow. On Tuesday morning, we will have an idea of who we will play and get back to work. We’ll see everybody again on Friday. We’ll need that same energy. That same fan support. That same Aggie Nation. We need you.”

from the ODU website, and now N.C. A&T Aggies report also available……
GREENSBORO, N.C.It was a low-scoring, defensive battle between Old Dominion women’s basketball and North Carolina A&T in the second round of the WNIT, but a last second three-pointer by the Aggies ended the Monarchs’ season as the team came up short, 48-45 on Sunday night at Corbett Sports Center.

ODU trailed by seven, 31-24, midway through the third quarter, but Kaye Clark went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line and added a three-pointer and a layup to get the Monarchs (22-10) back to within a point. The Aggies (22-11) scored the next six points before Brenda Fontana scored a layup as ODU went into the final 10 minutes down 36-32.

Mimi McCollister opened the fourth quarter with a deep ball and Fontana found Simone Cunningham for a basket down low as the Monarchs pulled ahead, 37-36. After N.C. A&T’s D’Mya Tucker made a pair of free throws to put the Aggies up 38-37, Fontana answered with a 2-for-2 effort at the line and Jordan McLaughlin hit a jumper to make it 41-38. Down the stretch, a couple of Maleia Bracone layups gave N.C. A&T control at 45-43, but Clark evened the score with just over three minutes to play.

Neither offense could convert from then on as the rest of the game featured multiple turnovers, steals and missed shots. ODU had a couple of opportunities in the paint as McLaughlin and McCollister both missed their shots, and N.C. A&T advanced the ball with 19 seconds left. With time winding down, Tucker swung the ball to Bracone on the left wing of the arc and the senior sank a three ball with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. ODU then advanced the ball and was able to get McLaughlin open for a three-point attempt, but her shot was off the mark.

Clark tied her season high of 16 points to lead the Monarchs and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. She added five assists and two steals to her totals while shooting 6-for-12 from the field, 3-for-7 from distance and 1-for-2 at the line. McCollister was next with eight points while McLaughlin, Fontana and Cunningham finished with six points each.

As a team, the Monarchs shot 17-for-53 (.321) from the floor, 5-for-19 (.263) from the perimeter, and 6-for-12 (.500) at the charity stripe. ODU got beat on the glass 42-35 and allowed 18 points off of 22 turnovers. The game featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes.

The Monarchs led 6-2 midway through the first quarter, but suddenly could not make a shot as the Aggies scored seven unanswered for a 9-6 advantage heading into the second. A couple of McCollister free throws put ODU back in front, 15-14, and a jumper by Clark knotted the score at 17-17 with less than three minutes to play before halftime. However, a 6-1 swing in favor of the Aggies saw them take a 23-18 lead into the locker room.

Looking at the history of this Old Dominion University Monarchs/Lady Monarch women’s basketball program:
The Old Dominion Monarchs women’s basketball team (formerly the Lady Monarchs) represents Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The team currently competes in the NCAA Division I as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

The ODU Monarchs women’s basketball team contributed to the initial rise in popularity of women’s intercollegiate basketball in the United States in the 1970s. Women’s college basketball was organized under the auspices of the AIAW in the early 1970s, at a time when competitive power was distributed among small colleges that had established a niche (such as Immaculata, Delta State, West Chester State, Wayland Baptist and Stephen F. Austin).

ODU won two AIAW national championships in 1979 and 1980 in dominating fashion with star players, Nancy Lieberman and Anne Donovan. Led by Medina Dixon and Tracy Claxton, ODU won the NCAA Division 1 championship in 1985, defeating the University of Georgia 70–65.

ODU along with UCLA and Tennessee, among others, led the rise to prominence of large schools with national reputations to the top intercollegiate level, before the NCAA began sponsoring sports for women.

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