North Carolina A&T (3-7) at Eastern Kentucky (7-4)
Date: December 18, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Facility: McBrayer Arena
Series: A&T leads 1-0
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 185, Sr., 6.5 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.0 rpg); G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 16.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.3 apg); G Richaud Pack (6-3, 183, Sr., 17.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, .386 3pt.) F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, 11.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg); C Bryan Akinkugbe (6-9, 225, Jr., 4.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg).
Aggies Overview: The Aggies are a young team looking for their identity. A&T has some impressive offensive weapons in Lamont Middleton, Richaud Pack and Bruce Beckford. What head coach Cy Alexander is looking for is a little intensity on the defensive end. The Aggies last two opponents have shot better than 45 percent and close to 50 percent from 3-point range (19-for-40), which resulted in double-digit losses. The Aggies head up to Richmond, Ky., a year after overcoming a 17-point first-half deficit to Eastern Kentucky in Corbett Sports Center to win 78-67. Today’s contest will mark the ninth time the Aggies have had to play away from home. With his freshmen learning the college game his hostile environments, Alexander hopes that will make them battle tested when January arrives.
Eastern Kentucky Overview: The Colonels play out of the Ohio Valley Conference. They return three starters from last season’s team, including Glenn Cosey who leads the Colonels in scoring at 19.5 points per game. The Colonels have the best scoring defense in the Ohio Valley, allowing teams to score just 66.5 points per game. They also have the best free throw shooting team in the league at .768. Cosey leads the way at the foul line, shooting .926 for the season. Second-leading scorer Corey Walden is shooting .829 from the foul line and averaging 11.6 points per game. Marcus Lewis (11.3) and Orlando Williams (11.2) also average double figures.
Potential Star: The Aggies seem to be at their best when Richaud Pack is getting to the free throw line. In the Aggies near upset against Georgia Tech, he went to the foul line 13 times. In the Aggies’ three wins this season, he is averaging 10.7 free throw attempts.
News & Notes:
• The only current member of the OVC the A&T has played in school history is Eastern Kentucky even though they have something in common with Tennessee State. Both are HBCU’s.
• Alexander coached six seasons in the OVC at Tennessee State where he was 7-8 against the Colonels.
• Lamont Middleton had 12 points, three rebounds, eight assists and three steals in the Aggies 78-67 win over Eastern Kentucky in Corbett last season.
From the coach:
“It’s not easy when you have a young group and you’re having to do everything in a hostile environment. But I’m proud of these guys because they’re not giving up. The main thing we have to keep doing is stay positive and keep grinding. I just feel like if we keep grinding, we’ll get there by January.” Men’s Basketball Coach Cy Alexander on his young team