Georgia Southern (6-7) at North Carolina A&T (3-9)
Date: December 28, 2013
Time: 2 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: A&T leads 1-0
Webstream: www.ncataggies.com (Play-by-Play: Spencer Gwynn, Analyst: Terry Cooper)
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 185, Sr., 5.6 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.8 rpg); G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.5 apg); G Richaud Pack (6-3, 183, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg) F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, 12.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg); C Bryan Akinkugbe (6-9, 225, Jr., 5.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg).
Aggies Overview: Finally! The Aggies are back home after spending more than 80 percent of their season thus far on the road. The Aggies have not played at home in three weeks. It is also coincidently the last time the Aggies won a game. It is important to A&T to win on its home court to counter the numerous road games. After losing to St. Louis on Dec. 21, North Carolina A&T head coach Cy Alexander gave his team four days off. His wish was for his players to use this time to find a gym and get up some shots as the conference season approaches quickly. The Aggies face Georgia Southern Saturday before playing at Charlotte to open the New Year on January 4. Seven days later, the Aggies will then travel to Florida to face MEAC foe Bethune-Cookman and then Florida A&M the following Monday.
Georgia Southern Overview: The Eagles are under the new leadership of first-year head Mark Byington. Byington spent nine seasons at the College of Charleston as an assistant. Seven of those seasons were under legendary coach Bobby Cremins. The Eagles return two starters from the 2012-13 team that lost to A&T 71-65 in Statesboro, Ga. Similar to the Aggies, the Eagles have numerous newcomers. Six of the Eagle newcomers are freshmen, the other four are transfers. One of those newcomers, Jelani White, is a big-time scorer. He has scored 20 or more points five times, including 38 points in an overtime loss to Campbell. He leads the Eagles in scoring at 20.9 points per game.
Potential Star: The Aggie fans will be huge tomorrow. With the student body on vacation, the Aggies will turn to the community for a boost. Admission into Saturday’s game is free. The Aggies hope the enthusiasm of the grade and middle school children can be the Sixth Man.
News & Notes:
• In last season’s game against Georgia Southern, Bruce Beckford hit a tough baseline jumper with a little more than two minutes remaining to give the Aggies the lead for good.
• The Aggies are hoping to keep senior point guard Jeremy Underwood on the floor for leadership. Underwood has fouled out of four games this season. In four of other games, he has ended the game with four fouls.
• A&T has been aggressive this season. The Aggies are 23rd in the nation in free throw attempts and 29th in the country in free throws made.
From the coach:
“(The Eagles) have great guard play. They remind us of Radford, who had outstanding guards. They’re going to come into Corbett well coached. We gave our team four days off so we only have two days to get ready for a tough opponent. It’s good to be at home. We’re hoping to put together a lengthy home winning streak because with so many road games, it’s very important for us to win at home.”
Men’s Basketball Coach Cy Alexander on Georgia Southern