OXFORD, Miss. – A poor shooting performance from the North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team caused it to suffer an 84-50 loss to Ole Miss at Tad Smith Coliseum on Tuesday evening in the Barclays Center Classic.
The Aggies (1-4) shot just 25.5 percent from the field and recorded 21 turnovers. The Rebels notched their fourth straight win and were 29-for-57 from the field, including 10 3-pointers.
A&T was led by Lamont Middleton and Richaud Pack with 13 points each. Jeremy Underwood led the Aggies with seven rebounds. The Aggies won the battle on the glass against the Rebels, 37-33. At the free throw line, the Aggies were 22-for-29 (.759).
“As far as being leaders we have to keep the team positive and set an example for them to follow so we have to produce better,” Pack said about his performance.
“We both had an off night offensively,” Middleton said. “Regardless of the situation we have to stay focused and be aggressive on both ends. We improved on the glass and at the free throw line but we failed to put everything together tonight.”
Ole Miss opened the first half on an 11-1 run as the Aggies played from behind the entire game. Khary Doby and Bruce Beckford got A&T going with a pair of 3-pointers followed by layup from Doby and two free throws from Beckford to slice their deficit to 14-11 with 13:46 in the half.
With 5:22 in the half remaining, Middleton drained a 3-pointer from Maurice Taylor to cut the Rebels edge to 32-29. Just when it looked like things were getting better for A&T, Ole Miss opened up a 15-4 run to close out the half and take the 47-33 advantage at halftime.
A&T struggled in the second half offensively and found it hard to make its shots. The Rebels held the Aggies to just 17 second-half points, 11 coming from Pack. Down 49-33, the Aggies scored six consecutive baskets to slice the Rebles lead to 50-39 with 15:45 left in the game.
A&T's defense halted the Rebels offense for the first several minutes of the second half. Ole Miss hit its second field goal of the half, a 3-pointer with 13:46 left in the game to extend its lead to 53-39.
“For our games in New Jersey we have to play hard, play smart, and play together,” said Pack about A&T’s upcoming games. “We have to rebound, make free throws, get back in transition, and take good shots.”
A&T will travel to West Long Branch, N.J., to face Longwood in the Barclays Center Classic on Friday, Nov. 29.