Florida A&M (8-14, 4-5 MEAC), at North Carolina A&T (7-16, 3-5 MEAC)
Date: February 8, 2014
Time: 6 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: A&T leads 45-27
Triad Entertainment Network Webcast: www.ncataggies.com; Play-by-Play: Spencer Gwynn, Color: Terry Cooper
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 185, Sr., 7.5 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.8 rpg); G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 16.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.3 apg); G Richaud Pack (6-3, 183, Sr., 17.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 apg) F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, 11.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg); C Bryan Akinkugbe (6-9, 225, Jr., 4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg).
Aggies Overview: A&T is back inside the comfortable confines of Corbett Sports Center where the Aggies have played their best basketball this season. A&T is 5-2 at home and average 70.3 points per game, shoot 42 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range, all marks that are considerably better than the marks they have posted throughout the season. A&T will need to be at its best in order to remove itself from the lower tier of the MEAC. The Aggies’ three-game losing streak now has them 10th in the conference with eight games remaining. The good news for the Aggies is that five of those games will be played at Corbett. A&T is looking to avenge a 76-66 loss to the Rattlers in Tallahassee earlier this season.
FAMU Overview: Florida A&M snapped a three-game losing streak on Monday when they defeated Savannah State 54-51 in Tallahassee. Florida A&M is led by two outstanding guards in Jamie Adams and Reggie Lewis. Adams had 16 points on 9-for-9 shooting from the free throw line in FAMU’s 76-66 win over the Aggies on Jan. 13. Lewis also finished the game with 16 points as he knocked down 4 of 9 from 3-point range. Adams has a MEAC Player of the Week and a MEAC Defensive Player of the Week to his credit this season. Trey Kellum, the Rattlers leading rebounder, was also big in the first matchup. He finished with 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting, and he added seven rebounds to his totals. Clemon Johnson is in his third season at FAMU and holds a 2-4 record against A&T.
Potential Star: In the first meeting this season, Bryan Akinkugbe scored six points but fouled out after playing only 10 minutes. If Akinkugbe can stay on the floor, he could be a force in the post for A&T.
News & Notes:
• A&T backup point guard Michael Briscoe is starting to get the hang of things and his minutes have increased as a result. In his first 15 games, he played a total of 68 minutes. In his last seven, he has played 103.
• A&T is one of only three teams in the conference with a plus rebounding edge over opponents, joining Norfolk State and N.C. Central. A&T outrebounds its opponents by 1.4 boards per game.
• The Aggies have won five straight over the Rattlers at Corbett. FAMU’s last win at A&T was a 75-71 triumph on Jan. 14, 2006.
From the coach:
“I see three things determining the outcome of this game. The first thing is transition defense. They are excellent at pushing the basketball. Then we must stop dribble penetration. They don’t run a lot of complicated sets, but they do an excellent job on ball screens. I think the last thing is limiting their second shots. Trey Kellum really hurt us in the first game by getting second shots.” Men’s Basketball coach Cy Alexander on what it will take to beat Florida A&M