North Carolina A&T (7-14, 3-3 MEAC) at Maryland Eastern Shore (2-15, 0-5 MEAC)
Date: February 1, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Facility: Hytche Athletic Center
Series: A&T leads 57-23
ESPN Radio: (1200, 1230, 1320 AM); Listen online at triadsports.com; play-by-play: Spencer Turkin
ESPN Pregame Show: 3:30 p.m.
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 185, Sr., 7.7 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.9 rpg); G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg); G Richaud Pack (6-3, 183, Sr., 17.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 apg); F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, 11.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg); C Bryan Akinkugbe (6-9, 225, Jr., 4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg).
Aggies Overview: A&T goes back on the road after completing a 3-1 home stand. It will be a crucial weekend for the Aggies who stand in the middle of the conference race at 3-3. After playing the Hawks, the Aggies will travel to Washington, D.C., to face the Howard Bison. A&T is just 1-12 on the road this season, but the Aggies have won four out of their last five at the Hytche Athletic Center. One of those wins came last season as the Aggies escaped with a 46-44 win thanks to 17 points by guard Lamont Middleton. Bruce Beckford did not play in last season’s game. He comes into this game leading the MEAC in rebounding at 8.0 per game. In fact, Beckford has recorded double-figure rebounds in four out of his last seven games. Meanwhile, Richaud Pack has scored 20-plus points in his last two games. Pack is fourth in the league in scoring and 3-point field goal percentage.
UMES Overview: Maryland Eastern Shore comes into today’s game looking for its first conference win of the season. The Hawks only two wins of the season came against non-Division I Salisbury and Division I Maryland neighbor Mt. Saint Mary’s. The win over Mt. Saint Mary’s came on Nov. 20, 2013, which means the Hawks have lost 13 straight and do not have a win in 2014. Junior college transfer KyRee Jones leads the Hawks in scoring at 15.3 points per game. Jones had 33 points against Salisbury, 21 at Oregon State and 23 at Purdue. Hakeem Baxter is the only other player averaging double figures at 13.6 points per game. He had 28 points at the University of Baltimore County.
Potential Star: Jeremy Underwood will be expected to control the Aggies tempo and prevent UMES from getting off to quick start. Underwood is averaging 11.6 points and shooting .500 (17-for-34) from the floor in the Aggies’ seven wins.
News & Notes:
• It is important that the Aggies shoot the ball well. They are 22-4 under head coach Cy Alexander when they shoot better than their opponents.
• The Aggies owned the series in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. The Aggies won 21 straight over the Hawks from 1977-89.
• Richaud Pack and Lamont Middle have scored 20 more eight times and seven times respectively. No two different Aggies have each scored 20-plus more than 10 games in a season since Phillip Allen and John Floyd did it in 1995.
From the coach:
“This weekend is very important for our team. Right now no one in the conference is running away from the rest of the pack. We’re right there in the middle. If we want to fight our way to the top and be one of those top-4 teams, we’re going to have to win some road games.” Men’s Basketball coach Cy Alexander on the Aggies upcoming road games versus UMES and Howard