Protect This House
Florida A&M (6-17, 3-6 MEAC) at North
Carolina A&T (12-12, 5-4 MEAC)
Date: February 11, 2013
Time: 8 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: A&T leads, 43-26
Webstream: www.ncataggies.com; Walter Johnson (play-by-play); Terry Cooper (analyst)
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Lamont Middleton (6-3 Jr., 13.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 apg); G Jean Louisme (6-4 Sr., 9.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.7 apg); F Austin Witter (6-8 Sr., 6.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.1 bpg); F Adrian Powell (6-6 Sr, 12.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 spg); C Bruce Beckford (6-7 Fr., 6.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg).
CHIT CHAT: A win tonight would be huge for North Carolina A&T. The Aggies are trying to earn one of the top 3 seeds at next month's MEAC Tournament in Norfolk, Va. A top 3 seed would give the Aggies a first-round bye, giving the Aggies an easier path to a championship because they would only have to win three games instead of four. A loss at home tonight would devastate their chances, considering the Aggies have to play three consecutive road games after tonight's contest with Florida A&M. The first road game will be a return to S.C. State for A&T head coach Cy Alexander. Alexander coached in Orangeburg, S.C., for 16 seasons and won five MEAC titles. The Aggies then travel to face the No. 3 and No. 2 teams in the conference in Savannah State and N.C. Central. The Aggies hope to have enough momentum built before going in to face the defending MEAC regular-season champion, SSU, and their archrival, NCCU.
From the coach:
"We've got to work on being consistent. And part of our inconsistency is we've not been able to win more than two games in a row all season. So we're not worried about getting three in a row right now. We're trying to win on Monday, so we can put ourselves in position to have an overall winning record before we go on the road, and we can be solidly be somewhere in fourth or fifth place. That will put us in a position to keep climbing that mountain, so we can get in the top three."
North Carolina A&T head coach Cy Alexander on the Aggies upcoming games
It's A "Lock": A&T has blocked at least one shot in its last 47 games. The last time the Aggies failed to block a shot occurred on Nov. 14, 2011 in a loss at Iowa.
The Opponent: Florida A&M comes into tonight's game having lost 11 of its last 13 games. The Rattlers are coming off of a 51-43 defeat to N.C. Central on Saturday. Earlier this season, the Aggies had their way with the Rattlers in Tallahassee, Fla. FAMU shot just 22.8 percent from the floor in a 68-40 defeat to the Aggies. It was A&T's largest margin of victory over a conference road opponent in 25 years. No Rattler reached double figures, but they were led by Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, who had nine points. Abdul-Aleem led the Rattlers on Saturday evening as well as he finished with 13 against NCCU. The Rattlers do have three players averaging in double figures, led by Jamie Adams' 14.5 points per game.
Potential Gameday Star power: North Carolina A&T: Senior forward Adrian Powell is much more comfortable playing in Corbett Sports Center than anywhere else. In nine home games this season, Powell is averaging 16.9 points, while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from 3-point range. Powell is 104 points shy of becoming the 28th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. Florida A&M: The Rattlers have won only twice in the last 13 games, and Jamie Adams was a big part of both victories. Adams had 28 points in FAMU's win at S.C. State on Jan. 21. Five days later, he scored 18 points in the Rattlers 55-54 win over Maryland Eastern Shore.
The Magic Number For A&T: 15: The Aggies have at least eight games remaining, and they are 12-12 on the season. The Aggies are looking for their first winning season in 15 years.
The Aggies have been well-represented in the conference's weekly awards. Austin Witter has won two MEAC Defensive Player of the Week honors, while Bruce Beckford has won best rookie twice. Adrian Powell was named Player of the Week on Jan. 7.
Bruce Beckford returned to the Aggies starting lineup after missing two games with a back injury, and coming off the bench against Delaware State on Feb. 4. In his return to the starting lineup, Beckford had eight points and two rebounds.