No. 2 North Carolina A&T Aggies (21-8) vs. No. 10 Norfolk State Spartans (7-21)
Date: March 13, 2013
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Facility: Norfolk Scope Arena
Series: Series tied, 15-15
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Ariel Bursey (5-10 So., 6.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg,1.4 apg); G Amber Calvin (5-8 RJr., 9.9 ppg, 3.3 rbg, 2.3 apg); F Tracy King (5-10 Jr., 10.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 apg); F JaQuayla Berry (5-11 Sr., 12.4 ppg, 6.2 rbg, 1.4 apg); C Eboni Ross (6-2 RFr., 7.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.4 apg)
CHIT CHAT: Nearly a week after capping off the 2012-13 regular season with a 62-47 win at Norfolk State, the No. 2-seeded Aggies will be looking to return to the NCAA Tournament, starting off by taking on the Spartans again. The Aggies are searching for their third MEAC Tournament title in program history and their first since 2009, when head coach Tarrell Robinson was an associate head coach with the program. The Aggies will be looking to pick up another win against Norfolk State on Wednesday in what will be their first tournament meeting. The Spartans became the 13th team A&T held under 35 percent shooting this. The Aggies had four players score in double figures, including a double-double by MEAC Rookie of the Year Eboni Ross. A&T will look to have similar success in the tournament against the Spartans.
From the Coach
"I'm glad we locked down the second seed in the tournament. It's something we've talked about the past two weeks. We just wanted to be in the right situation to try and win MEAC championship."
A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson about after a 62-47 win at Norfolk State on March 7
It's A "Lock": This season the Aggies are holding opponents to an average of 54.4 points- the lowest opponent scoring average in program history. It's also fourth best in the MEAC and 35th best in the nation this year. It marks just the sixth season in which the Aggies have not allowed more than 60.0 points per game (1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1994-95, 1995-96).
The Opponent: The Spartans advanced to the MEAC quarterfinals after avenging an earlier overtime loss to Florida A&M with a 72-55 win over the Rattlers on Tuesday afternoon in a play-in game. The Spartans are averaging 55.0 points per game this season, while allowing opponents to score an average of 64.8 points. Junior forward Rachel Gordon was named second-team All-MEAC on Sunday. She leads the team with an average of 10.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. She is third in the conference in rebounding. Recca Trice is second in the MEAC in assists with an average of 5.7 per game.
Potential Gameday Star Power: North Carolina A&T: Redshirt freshman Eboni Ross, the second player in program history to be named MEAC Rookie of the Year, has scored in double-figures in her last seven games. She's been a key part of the team's ability to shut down opponents defensively, and has been a key scoring contributor for the Aggies this season. Norfolk State: Sophomore forward Ebony Brown led the Spartans with 23 points against Florida A&M on Tuesday, going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. She also had a pair of blocks for Norfolk State.
The Magic Number for A&T: 3: The Aggies won the MEAC Tournament Championship title in 1994 and 2009. They look to win their third championship title this week in Norfolk, Va., and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
FROM THE NOTES:
Senior Nikia Gorham is two blocks away from moving into fifth place on the all-time career blocks list. She has 91.
Senior JaQuayla Berry, who earned first-team All-MEAC honors for the second time in her career on Sunday, became the sixth player in program history to record 1,400 career points, by scoring 12 at Norfolk State on March 7. She joins Malveata Johnson, Ta'Wuana Cook, Amber Bland, Camile Akins and Nisha Watson in that club.