FARMVILLE, VA – A dominating second half by the Longwood women’s basketball team pushed her past North Carolina A&T 85-71 Wednesday night. As everyone headed into halftime, a second-half team effort paved the way for the Lancers to sweet victory.
The momentum changed after the whistle in the third quarter as the Lancers (14-11, 11-3 Big South) took the lead on a 9-0 run and advanced to 12-4 in the first half of the quarter. Akila Smith scored a significant number of goals for the Lancers and grabbed a 23-point game, going 11-17 from the field while adding five steals and three blocks.
According to Smith it was Kyla McMakin Resurrection from Ashes in the second half. McMakin went into halftime with just one bucket but conceded 11 points in the second half to pave the way to a double-digit win over the Aggies.
Tra’Dayja Smith joined in the fun and grabbed her first double-double of the season. She hit two shots from behind the arc and three from the paint, finishing the game with 10 points and 10 assists. Smith added five of those templates in the first quarter alone. Briana Johns, Kennedy Calhoun Brooke Anya, Anne Hamilton LeRoy and Adriana Shipp all contributed to the 14-point victory over the opposing team.
For North Carolina A&T (12-13, 9-6), the pace caught up with the team in the back half of the game seven weeks since their last encounter with the Lancers. After missing three of their top scorers in the previous clash, the squad was full tonight but not enough remained.
Jazmin Harris led the Aggies with 18 points and six rebounds. Right behind Harris were Chanin Scott and Sean Kelly Darks with two 13-point performances. The Aggies finished .448 from the field and .875 from the charity streak, but the Lancers’ second chances bested the home side to victory on their home court.
In addition to the win, there was also some flare-up on the agenda on Wednesday evening with two special topics. The Lancers dedicated the evening to empowering women and celebrating 50 years since the passage of Title IX.
The night also commemorated two members of the team, both of whom have joined a respected club in Longwood – a club that only 22 other women can claim to be a part of. Smith and McMakin, who cemented their new title Wednesday night, were honored as the two newest members of Longwood’s 1,000 point club. The duo have surpassed the mark in each of the last two years, averaging double-digit scores in the ratings column. They were both honored with a basketball commemorating the achievement with the date they did so (Smith: at Radford 01/29/22 and McMakin: vs. UNC Asheville 03/08/21).
Longwood’s next opponent is another opponent they haven’t seen in almost two months. The Lancers play Presbyterian at 3 p.m. Saturday to start the basketball doubles header this weekend. The game will also be Longwood’s Alumnae Game.