2 North Carolina A&T Aggies (22-8) vs. No. 3 Howard Bison (19-10)
Date: March 15, 2013
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Facility: The Scope
Series: Howard leads, 43-25
Webstream: www.meachoops.com (under the tournament menu)
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Ariel Bursey (5-10 So., 6.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg,1.4 apg); G Adriana Nazario (5-8 So., 6.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.5 apg); F Tracy King (5-10 Jr., 10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg); F JaQuayla Berry (5-11 Sr., 12.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.5 apg); C Eboni Ross (6-2 RFr., 8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.4 apg)
CHITCHAT: The Aggies bested the Norfolk State Spartans 78-47 to advance to the semifinal round of the MEAC Tournament and get one step closer to winning 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 look to avenge an earlier 44-42 loss to Howard in their re-match on Friday afternoon. Wednesday's win marked the 12th time this season that the Aggies have held an opponent to under 50 points in a game. The Aggies will look to continue to use a strong defense to win the MEAC championship. They will also depend upon the continued strong offensive play of MEAC Rookie of the Year Eboni Ross, who matched a season-best with 18 points on Wednesday with 7-for-7 shooting from the floor. Juniors Tracy King and Amber Calvin also recorded double figures for the Aggies against the Spartans.
From the Coach
"Obviously, this game I thought our fast start was the difference in the game. It was 36-30 in the second half, so holding them to 17 in the first half was big."
A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson about after a 78-47 win vs. Norfolk State on March 13
It's A "Lock": The Aggies held the Spartans to a 34 percent shooting on Wednesday. The Aggies are 13-1 in games when their opponent shoots less than 35 percent from the floor in a game this season.
The Opponent: The No. 3 Howard Bison defeated No. 6 Morgan State 62-60 to advance to the semifinal round of the MEAC Tournament. Nicole Deterville's layup with 0.5 seconds left gave Howard the win. This year, the Bison finished in third place with a 12-4 MEAC record. Senior Saadia Doyle had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bison in both categories in Wednesday's win. Cheyenne Curley-Payne added 17 points and 10 rebounds along with a team-best four assists and two steals. Senior Saadia Doyle, the second person in program history to collect more than 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, earned first-team All-MEAC honors this season. She is the third person in MEAC history to be in both of those clubs. The Bison are 8-3 against A&T in MEAC Tournament play.
Potential Gameday Star Power: North Carolina A&T: Junior Tracy King collected 13 points, three assists and a team-best four steals in the quarterfinals match against Norfolk State on Wednesday. She shot 5-for-9 (.556) from the floor and had one of the team's 12 3-pointers.She had 10 points and nine rebounds against the Bison in their last meeting. Howard: Saadia Doyle is looking to close out her impressive career with a MEAC title. She had another double-double on Wednesday. In her last meeting with the Aggies, Doyle scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds on 7-for-22 shooting.
The Magic Number for A&T: 8: Redshirt freshman Eboni Ross has recorded double figures in her last eight games. The Aggies have gone 7-1 in that span.
FROM THE NOTES:
The Aggies are one win away from matching the 23-win total the team recorded in 2009-10. That was the last season in which the Aggies competed in a national postseason tournament, advancing to the third round of the WNIT with wins over Wake Forest and Charlotte.
This season the Aggies are holding opponents to an average of 54.2 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).