North Carolina A&T Aggies (24-6) vs. South Florida (19-12)
Date: March 21, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Facility: Sun Dome
Radio: ESPN Radio Triad (1200, 1230, 1320 AM): play-by-play: Spencer Turkin
Listen Live Online: www.triadsports.com
Probable Starters: G Christina Carter (5-8, RSo., 9.5 ppg) F Tracy King (5-10, Sr., 13.1 ppg), G Ariel Bursey (5-10, Jr., 8.7 ppg), C Aprill McRae(6-3, RSo., 8.9 ppg), G DeAndra Davis (5-10, Sr., 6.2 ppg)
Aggies Overview: A&T is making its second consecutive appearance in the WNIT. The Aggies will meet South Florida for the first time in program history on Friday. A&T who advanced to the semifinals of the MEAC tournament, saw its dreams of a conference championship end after falling to Coppin State, 57-55. It was the first time all season that A&T had given up a halftime lead as it is 22-1 when leading at the half. In its last five games, McRae has averaged a team-high 12.4 points per game. Also in its last five games A&T has seen four different Aggies lead the team in scoring. The Aggies’ defensive effort has been headed by Ross (6.6), McRae (6.2), and Bursey (6.0) who have averaged six or more rebounds since Mar. 1. The Aggies’ scoring defense remains ranked fifth in the nation, holding its opponents to an average of 54.4 points a game.
Bulls Overview: South Florida finished third in the American Athletic Conference regular season behind No.1 Connecticut and No. 4 Louisville. The Bulls advanced to the semifinals of the AAC tournament where they loss 60-56 to second-seeded Louisville. South Florida, who made an appearance in the NCAA tournament last season, is no stranger to postseason play as it was crowned the 2009 WNIT champion after defeating Kansas. The Bulls have advanced to the postseason in 10 of their last 11 seasons. USF is led by Courtney Williams who is averaging 16.3 points per game, ahead of Inga Orekhova (11.0). Alisia Jenkins is leading the team in rebounds (10.3) as the Bulls are averaging 44.8 boards a game. South Florida is 10-6 at the Sun Dome this season with one of those wins over MEAC mate NCCU who loss 93-35 on Nov. 20. The Bulls enter the matchup winning six of their last seven games.
News & Notes:
*A&T is 2-3 in the WNIT. Its only wins in the tournament were in 2010 when it defeated Wake Forest, 73-49 in the first round and Charlotte, 79-70 in the second round. The Aggies fell 84-77 to Miami in the third round.
*Debbie Smith and McRae are averaging 10.0 points per game in postseason play.
*The Aggies will be looking for their 25th win when they face South Florida on Friday. The last time A&T won 25 games was in the 2008-09 season where it posted a 26-7 record, won the MEAC regular season and MEAC tournament, along with making its second appearance in the NCAA tournament.