Radford (6-7) at North Carolina A&T (5-9)
Date: January 2, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: Radford leads, 5-1
Live Webstream: Walter Johnson (play-by-play); Terry Cooper (analyst); www.ncataggies.com home page.
G Lamont Middleton (6-3 Jr., 13.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg); G Jean Louisme (6-4 Sr., 10.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.5 apg); F Austin Witter (6-8 Sr., 6.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.9 bpg); F Adrian Powell (6-6 Sr, 11.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 spg); C Bruce Beckford (6-7 Fr., 6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
CHIT CHAT: North Carolina A&T is happy to be home. After a rough road trip that included two cancelled flights and a 5 1/2-hour bus ride to Albuquerque, N.M., in order to catch a flight to Los Angeles, the Aggies can now focus on conference play after playing Radford at home and taking a bus trip to Statesboro, Ga., to play Georgia Southern. Tonight will be a matchup between student vs. teacher. Radford head coach Mike Jones played at Howard from 1983-87. During his time at Howard, the assistant coach for the men's basketball team was current A&T head coach Cy Alexander. Alexander, Jones and the Bison reached the MEAC championship game four straight years, but lost to the Aggies each time. Alexander and Jones would leave Howard the same year as Alexander went on to lead S.C. State to five MEAC tournament titles as its head coach over 16 seasons.
From the coach:
"We've got to get tougher physically and mentally. When you miss that many free throws, you're not there mentally. But we're going to get this fixed by the time January 12 (the Aggies first conference game after the New Year) rolls around, and we're going to start by getting ready for Radford."
North Carolina A&T head coach Cy Alexander on approaching conference play
It's A "Lock": When A&T scores 59 points or less, it is very ineffective. The Aggies have lost 24 straight games where they have failed to score in the 60's. The last time the Aggies won a game where they scored 59 points or less was a 56-55 win at Hampton on Feb 2, 2009.
The Opponent: Radford snapped a four-game losing streak with a 95-68 win over Central Penn Saturday night. The Highlanders and the Aggies have one common opponent this season. The Highlanders were defeated by eight points in a Nov. 18 game at Eastern Kentucky. Even though the Aggies do not play Hampton in the regular-season this year, the Pirates and the Aggies are in the same conference. Radford defeated Hampton 73-64 on Nov. 28. Sophomore forward Javonte Green leads the Highlanders in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (7.3). Green is only one of two Highlanders to start every game this season, joining senior guard Blake Smith.
Potential Gameday Star power: North Carolina A&T: Senior forward Austin Witter has become one of the best shot blockers in the nation. Witter has blocked 32 shots in the Aggies last eight games, and ranks 10th in the nation and second in the MEAC in blocked shots. Offensively, Witter has scored in double figures in his last three games. Radford: Rashun Davis will be key to the Highlanders backcourt. Davis has 12 assists in his last two games and he has recorded seven steals in the Highlanders' last three contests. Davis averages 6.2 points per game, and his 25 assists ties him for the team lead in total assists with R.J. Price and Kyle Noreen.
The Magic Number For A&T: 10: There is 10 days between now and the Aggies entrance into full-fledge conference play. The two things the Aggies will try to correct will be their recent issues at the free throw line and rebounding. The Aggies are 18-for-40 from the line and have been outrebounded 91-53 in their last two games.
The Aggies have dished out at least 10 assists in their last six games.
The Aggies have blocked at least one shot in their last 40 games. The last time the Aggies failed to block a shot was Nov. 14, 2011 at Iowa. They have at least three blocks in their last seven games.