GREENSBORO, N.C. (December 15, 2017) – Two North Carolina A&T Aggies recorded double-doubles in a 64-54 victory over Tennessee State Friday night at Corbett Sports Center. Sophomore Japhet Kadji had a team-high 16 points with 10 rebounds and junior Femi Olujobi carried the bench scoring with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Aggie defense held the Tigers to 39 percent shooting from the field.
“Anytime you can snap a losing streak is huge,” said N.C. A&T head coach Jay Joyner. “The message in the locker room before the game was that you can not allow another team to come into the Corbett Center and win. It was really that simple. We settled down in the second half and was a lot more aggressive against their zone.”
The Aggies, the second-best shooting team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, shot 56 percent (13-for-23) from the field in the second half and held the Tigers to 42 (14-for-33) to pull away late.
Graduate transfer Devonte Boykins, who was back on the floor after a three-game absence due to injury, was a key factor, scoring nine of his 13 points in the second half to pace the Aggies. The Tigers trailed by 27-24 at the half, but opened the second half on a 7-0 run and led 31-27 at the 17:12 mark. Boykins ended the run with a 3-pointer followed by back-to-back baskets by Kadji and junior Milik Gantz to give the Aggies a 34-33 lead with 13:09 to play.
The Tigers responded on a layup by Kamar McKnight taking their final lead of the evening, 35-34. On the ensuing possession, a 3-pointer by Kadji put the Aggies back in front. The Kadji three led to a N.C. A&T 9-0 run that included a 3-point play and a 3-pointer from Boykins. After a tip-in by Ken’Darrius Hamilton ended the Aggies run and brought the Tigers to within four, 43-39, the Aggies sprinted out again.
They took a 49-39 lead with 6 ½ minutes to play on a 6-0 run that included two baskets from freshman Kameron Langley and a bucket from Olujobi. It seemed to be the catalyst that put the Tigers away as TSU was never able to get the lead under six the rest of the way.
“We keep talking about depth and on any given night guys can step up. This team is not only about Olujobi,” said Joyner. “He practiced only once this week and even with that one day I thought he gave us effort on defense, and we still earned the win. Anytime you can hold an opponent to 54 points is huge. I felt that playing zone would give us our best chance to win the game and we got it done.”
The Aggies trailed the Tigers for the first 13 minutes of the game. An 8-0 run for the Aggies brought them back from a seven-point deficit. Olujobi’s offensive rebound plus tip-in trimmed the TSU advantage to five, 18-13. Sophomore Kwei Lartey followed with a 3-pointer and Olujobi matched him with another three to give N.C. A&T a 19-18 lead at the 7:39 mark. The Aggies held on to the lead for the remainder of the half.
Led by Olujobi and Gantz (nine points), N.C. A&T’s bench outscored the Tigers bench 25-0. Langley had seven points with six assists and Boykins ended with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Tennessee State was led by Delano Spencer’s 17 points.
The Aggies travel to Pittsburgh to face Duquesne 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 17 at the Palumbo Center.