S.C. State (5-21, 1-12 MEAC) at North
Carolina A&T (13-15, 6-7 MEAC)
Date: March 2, 2013
Time: 4 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: A&T leads, 45-42
Webstream: www.ncataggies.com; Walter Johnson (play-by-play); Terry Cooper (analyst)
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Lamont Middleton (6-3 Jr., 12.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.4 apg); G Jean Louisme (6-4 Sr., 9.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.6 apg); F Austin Witter (6-8 Sr., 6.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.9 bpg); F Adrian Powell (6-6 Sr, 12.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 spg); C Bruce Beckford (6-7 Fr., 7.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg).
CHIT CHAT: North Carolina A&T will honor seven seniors on the men's basketball team on Saturday before the men play S.C. State at Corbett Sports Center. Three of the Aggies seniors have been starters most of the season, and five of the seniors have been at A&T for four seasons. The remainder of the season will be important for the seniors not only because it is their last opportunity to play college basketball, but also because they have something to prove in the MEAC Basketball Tournament scheduled for March 11-16 in Norfolk, Va. The senior class has only won one tournament game in their careers, a win over Howard during their freshmen seasons. The final three regular-season games for the Aggies start with S.C. State, a team that upset the Aggies a week and a half ago. The Aggies will then play Savannah State on national television (ESPNU) at Corbett on Monday night at 9.
From the coach:
"I don't believe in harping on it because so much of it psychological. But I have to address it to the media and to my team, but I'm not going to harp on it. I have to address it to the media and to my team, but I'm not going to harp on it."
North Carolina A&T head coach Cy Alexander on shooting free throws
It's A "Lock": The Aggies are open to unlock an issue they have faced over the last two seasons. The Aggies went 2-7 after February 1 last season. The Aggies are 3-4 thus far after February 1 this season. The Aggies open to capture momentum in March.
The Opponent: S.C. State recently made a coaching change as Murray Garvin took over on an interim basis for Tim Carter who left the position. Garvin gave the program a boost when he defeated A&T 72-70 during Cy Alexander's return to S.C. State on Feb. 16. Alexander coached at S.C. State for 16 seasons and won all five of the school's MEAC titles. The Bulldogs have lost three straight since, including a 75-72 overtime defeat to Florida A&M on Monday. Darryl Palmer had 22 points and 10 rebounds in the game. Palmer had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Bulldogs' win over A&T.
Potential Gameday Star power: North Carolina A&T: Senior forward Austin Witter has been a strong defensive force all season, and ranks 10th in the nation in blocked shots. Witter can change a game with his presence in the post. He is third all-time on the Aggies blocked shots list. S.C. State: Khalif Toombs had 15 points and nine assists in the Bulldogs win over the Aggies on Feb. 16. In seven games against A&T, Toombs is averaging 7.3 points and 4.9 assists.
The Magic Number For A&T: 70: The Aggies have shot 70 percent or better from the line 12 times this season. The Aggies are 7-5 when they shoot 70 percent or better from the line.
Austin Witter has 82 blocks on the season. He needs four more blocks to break Thomas Coleman's single-season school record for blocked shots. Coleman set the record during the 2008-09 season.
Senior forward Adrian Powell needs 64 points to reach 1,000 for his career. If he gets hot late, he could become just the 28th player in school history to accomplish the feat. He has at least four games remaining to get there.