TOWSON, Md. - The North Carolina A&T bowling team finished 19th this weekend at the James Brown Classic, hosted by Morgan State at the Towson AMF Lanes.
The Aggies, (37-29, 10-6) finished the tournament with a 4-8 record, as UMES, ranked No. 2 in the nation by the National Tenpin Coaches Association, won the tournament.
"Everything has been a learning experience, leading up to MEAC #3 and Championships," said A&T head coach James William.
On Friday, the Aggies defeated No. 17 New Jersey City 757-742 to start bakers play. They then lost to Howard (645-582) and UMES (832-609) before defeating Hampton 734-624. The Aggies lost to No. 10 Saint Francis University (PA) to end the day in bakers competition, 788-774. The Aggies were in fifth place after the first match, but dropped down to 20th of 23 teams after tough second and third matches. But the Aggies battled back to finish the day 14th overall.
The Aggies lost to No. 7 Fairleigh Dickson 920-857 to start head-to-head play on Saturday. No. 12 Sacred Heart defeated A&T 949-854, but then the Aggies defeated Morgan State 876-822. No. 11 Kutztown beat the Aggies by one, 892-891. Twentieth-ranked Delaware State then bested the Aggies 900-752 to end the day.
"We had difficulties making spares. We left a bunch of easy ones on the deck again this weekend. It was very evident against FDU, Sacred Heart and Kutztown," said Williams. "If we want to be a Top 20 team, we have to make sure the spare shooting is solid. We also need to work on different launch angles, and entry points for when the lanes transition to the point they were we will be ready. We were prepared, but not as prepared as I would have hoped."
On Sunday, the Aggies lost to N.C. Central 4-3 in the semifinal round of the bracket tournament. The Aggies then blanked Howard to end the classic.
The Aggies will be looking to stamp their ticket to the MEAC Championship Tournament for the first time in four years, as they compete in the MEAC #3 Southern Division Tournament on March 2-3 in Durham. A&T is currently in second place in the Southern Division, three games behind No. 14 Norfolk State.