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A&T Faces CSU In Final Game Of Homestand

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 01/28/2013
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Six-foot-eight senior Austin Witter could play a key role offensively and defensively against Coppin State tonight. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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Coppin State (5-16, 2-4 MEAC) at North Carolina A&T (9-11, 2-3 MEAC)
 January 28, 2013 
Time: 8 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: Coppin State leads, 34-20
Live Webstream:; Walter Johnson (play-by-play); Terry Cooper (analyst)

PROBABLE STARTERS: G Lamont Middleton (6-3 Jr., 13.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg); G Jean Louisme (6-4 Sr., 10.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 apg); F Austin Witter (6-8 Sr., 6.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.0 bpg); F Adrian Powell (6-6 Sr, 12.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 spg); C Bruce Beckford (6-7 Fr., 7.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

CHIT CHAT:  North Carolina A&T held a five-point lead against Morgan State before turnovers plagued the Aggies over the final five minutes in a 55-52 loss at Corbett Sports Center on Saturday. The Aggies will now try to regroup against a Coppin State team it has traditionally struggled to defeat.  Coppin State is one of the few teams in the MEAC that holds a winning record over the Aggies even though A&T was able to defeat the Eagles 93-92 in overtime in Baltimore last season. Adrian Powell was a big part of that victory. His 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the game clinch the victory for A&T. The Aggies have been successful against the Eagles at Corbett, holding a 14-11 record. Plus, Powell plays well at home. He is averaging 16.6 points per game at Corbett, while shooting 44.7 percent from 3-point range.

From the coach:  
"Our guys reverted back to playing not as smart as we had been playing. Consequently, we lost. It was a tough loss (to Morgan State), but we've got to get back on the horse and prepare for Coppin State. We can't let this loss carry over to Monday night. We can dissect this game and learn from it. But our main objective has to be, beating Coppin on Monday."
North Carolina A&T head coach Cy Alexander on Coppin State     

It's A "Lock": A&T must rebound to be effective. The Aggies are just 1-10 when teams secure more rebounds in a game as opposed to being 8-1 when they either outrebound or have the same amount of rebounds as an opponent.

The Opponent:  Coppin State relies on its guard play to be effective. The Eagles two big guards are 6-foot-5 Patrick Cole and 6-5 Michael Murray. The two smaller guards are 5-9 Taariq Cephas and 6-2 Andre Armstrong. Armstrong is coming off of a 28-point performance in Durham against N.C. Central on Saturday, Cephas recorded 13 points and six assists against NCCU. Cole came off the bench to score 29 points on four 3-pointers in an overtime win over Hampton on Jan. 21. Murray is the leading scorer at 12.5 points per game, but is not one of the Eagles better 3-point shooters at 22.0 percent. He is, however, an effective rebounder at 9.3 per contests.

Potential Gameday Star power: North Carolina A&T: Senior forward Austin Witter may play a big role in tonight's game. He could be a matchup problem for the Eagles on the offensive end, and his presence in the paint could make it hard for the Eagles to score. Witter is closing in on the school's all-time single-season blocked shots record. He needs 26 blocks to break Thomas Coleman's four-year old record. Coppin State: Junior guard Andre Armstrong has the hot hand for the Eagles. He has scored in double figures in his last four games. He is averaging 20.8 points over his last four games while shooting 42.1 percent (16-for-38) from 3-point range and 86.4 percent (19-for-22) from the free throw line.

The Magic Number For A&T60: North Carolina A&T scored 52 points on Saturday. It marked the 25th straight game the Aggies have lost when they failed to score at least 60 points in a game.

A&T center Bruce Beckford left Saturday's game after only three minutes of action. The Aggies big man has been suffering from back pain throughout the season.

This will be the 37th time Cy Alexander will face Coppin State. Alexander is 16-20 against the Eagles in his career, while the Aggies as a team are 20-34 against Coppin.

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