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Aggies Look To Complete Home Stand Unbeaten

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 01/27/2014
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Sophomore forward Bruce Beckford has recorded double-figure rebounds in three out of his last six games. Photo by Charles E. Watkins
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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Coppin State (6-13, 3-3 MEAC) at North Carolina A&T (7-13, 3-2 MEAC)  
Date:
 January 27, 2014   
Time: 8 p.m.
Facility: Corbett-Sports Center   
Series: Coppin State leads 34-19     
Webstream: www.ncataggies.com: Play-by-Play: Spencer Gwynn, Color: Terry Cooper
PROBABLE STARTERS:
G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 185, Sr., 8.1 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.9 rpg); G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 17.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.5 apg); G Richaud Pack (6-3, 183, Sr., 17.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.4 apg) F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, 11.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg); C Bryan Akinkugbe (6-9, 225, Jr., 4.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg).

Aggies Overview:  A&T did what was necessary on Saturday. They beat a worthy opponent after enduring the Aggies’ worst MEAC loss in school history last Wednesday. The Aggies are coming off a 68-67 overtime win over Morgan State on Saturday. The Aggies trailed by as many as nine points to Morgan State, a team that was undefeated in the conference before Saturday’s game. But the Aggies, who did not take the lead on Saturday until the overtime period, used solid free throw shooting and timely 3-point shooting by Richuad Pack to force overtime on two Steven Burrough free throws. Lamont Middleton and Pack had 26 and 25 respectively, which marked the third time this season the duo has scored 20 or more in the same game. The Aggies are now 3-0 on their current home stand as they try to close it out tonight undefeated before going on the road to face Maryland Eastern Shore and Howard.

Coppin State Overiew: Coppin State has a talented group of scorers led by Michael Murray (6-5, Sr., forward) who leads the Eagles at 15.1 points per game. Andre Armstrong (12.5 ppg), Sterling Smith (10.4), Taariq Cephas (9.9) are all deadly shooters from the outside. The Eagles are second in the conference in 3-pointers made with 128. They have six players who have hit 10 or more 3-pointers this season. The Eagles also lead the conference in free throw shooting (.741), but rank last in field goal percentage defense (.482). The Eagles are coming off back-to-back losses as they head into their third straight road game. Coppin State is led by legendary coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell and his more than 600 collegiate coaching victories.

Potential Star: Coppin State has been outrebounded by more than five rebounds per game by its opponents. Bruce Beckford has secured double-figure rebounds in three of his last six games. He could have a big game on the boards tonight.

News & Notes:

A&T has won the last four meetings at home versus the Eagles, including a 63-62 controversial win last season. The last time the Eagles won at Corbett was a 64-58 win on Feb. 17, 2007.

• In the Aggies overtime win over Morgan State, they had four players – Bruce Beckford, Jeremy Underwood, Richaud Pack and Lamont Middleton – play more than 40 minutes.

• Coaches Cy Alexander and Ron “Fang” Mitchell have faced each other 37 times in their outstanding careers. Mitchell is 20-17 against Alexander with 36 of those games played when Alexander was the head coach at S.C. State.

From the coach:

“We came in on Sunday and did mostly film, no running. We hope that one complete day of no running will help them get their legs back. Coppin State is a very good team, so we will have to be ready physically and mentally for the challenge.” Men’s Basketball coach Cy Alexander after the Aggies went into overtime versus Morgan State on Saturday

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