Savannah State (10-17, 8-5 MEAC) at North Carolina A&T (8-20, 4-9 MEAC)
Date: March 1, 2014
Time: 6 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: Savannah State leads, 4-1
Webstream: www.ncataggies.com; Play-by-Play: Spencer Gwynn; Color: Terry Cooper
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 17.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.3 apg); G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 190, Sr., 7.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.9 apg); G Denzel Keyes (6-4, 210, Fr., 1.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.1 apg); F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, So., 11.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg); Steven Burrough (6-9, 245, Fr., 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg).
Aggies Overview: A&T needs a win. The Aggies enter Saturday’s game losers of four in a row. A&T is hoping to gain a little momentum in its final three regular-season games before entering the MEAC tournament on March 10-15. Two of the Aggies final three games are at home, including Saturday’s game against Savannah State which will mark Senior Day for the Aggies. A&T will be celebrating two seniors in Lamont Middleton and the Aggies only four-year senior Jeremy Underwood. As a point guard in 2012-13, Middleton helped the Aggies win their first MEAC title in 18 years. He is just 55 points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career. Underwood served as a spark plug off the Aggies bench for the first three years of his career. When he gets hot from 3-point range the Aggies are virtually unbeatable. He also provides toughness and leadership on the floor.
Savannah State Overview: Savannah State has been successful since joining the MEAC in 2011. The Tigers won the regular-season championship in 2011 with a 14-2 record. The Tigers are 33-12 in the MEAC since joining. The Tigers are the most balanced team in the MEAC. Only one Tiger averages double figures, and they have eight players who average between 4.4 and 10.1 points per game. Seniors Deven Williams is the only Tiger averaging double figures in points. Williams had 24 points on 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range against the Aggies on Feb. 15. Joshua Montgomery and Jyles Smith both had double-doubles as Montgomery finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Smith had 11 points and 10 boards. The Tigers are led by head Horace Broadnax. He is 4-1 against A&T.
Potential Star: Savannah State took advantage of the Aggies on the boards in Savannah, Ga., on Feb. 15. Waylan Siverand had a very active game against N.C. Central where he had eight points on two dunks, three rebounds and three blocks. If he can be that active off the bench against Savannah State, it could pay off for A&T.
News & Notes:
• A&T’s four-game losing streak in the conference is the longest since the 2009-10 season. The last time the Aggies lost five straight in the MEAC was during the 2005-06 season.
• When the Aggies shoot fewer free throw attempts than their opponents this season they are 0-14.
• A&T’s starting lineup of Keyes, Middleton, Underwood, Beckford and Steven Burrough against N.C. Central on Saturday was the Aggies 12th different starting lineup of the season.
From the coach:
“Right now I’m just concerned about trying to win a game to build a little momentum as we go into the tournament. If we keep losing we can go in there on a downslope. But if we can win the next two out of three or the next three out of three, now we’ve got a little momentum that will put us in a bracket where we’re playing on Tuesday. I’m not going to be negative because right now is not the time to be negative. What I’m going to give is constructive criticism.” Head men’s basketball Cy Alexander on the Aggies stretch run