North Carolina A&T (9-21, 5-10 MEAC) at Hampton (17-11, 12-3 MEAC)
Date: March 6, 2014
Time: 8 p.m.
Facility: Convocation Center
Series: Hampton leads 32-26
Radio: 1200, 1230 and 1320 AM (ESPN Radio); play-by-play: Spencer Turkin; website: triadsports.com
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 17.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.1 apg); G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 190, Sr., 7.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.0 apg); G Denzel Keyes (6-4, 210, Fr., 2.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.1 apg); F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, So., 11.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg); F Waylan Siverand (6-7, 190, Jr., 3.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg)
Aggies Overview: A&T will close out its regular season with a rare game against conference foe Hampton. A win tonight could have the Aggies seeded as high as No. 8 at next week’s MEAC tournament in Norfolk, Va. A loss could drop the Aggies as low as the 12th seed. A 12th seed would force the Aggies to play on Monday night instead of Tuesday. The Aggies are hoping to have another outstanding Waylan Siverand performance, similar to the one he had in the Aggies 62-60 win over S.C. State on Saturday. Siverand, a junior, scored in double figures for the first time in his career with 17 points. He also had career highs in rebounds (6), offensive rebounds (5), field goals made (5) and attempted (7), free throws made (7) and attempted (9) and steals (3). Bruce Beckford recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday.
Hampton Overview: Aside from N.C. Central, Hampton is the hottest team in the MEAC. Hampton has won six straight games and has already wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the MEAC tournament to be held March 10-15 in Norfolk, Va., which is only a few miles from Hampton’s campus. The last time the Pirates lost was a 94-92 overtime defeat at Morgan State on Feb. 3, 2014. The Pirates have one of the best defenses in the conference, holding opponents to 39.5 percent shooting and 69.8 points per game. They also lead the conference in blocked shots and defensive rebounding, while holding a No. 2 ranking in steals. All-MEAC candidate Du’Vaugn Maxwell leads the way, averaging 15.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game, while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor.
Potential Star: Hampton is a good rebounding team. A&T sophomore forward Bruce Beckford is coming off of his fourth career double-double. If he can keep the Aggies even on the board, they could pull off the upset.
News & Notes:
• The Aggies only need four free throw attempts to break the school record for free throw attempts in a season. The 2013-14 currently have 892 free throw attempts.
• A&T senior guard Lamont Middleton needs just 15 points to become the 28th Aggie to score 1,000 points in a career.
• The last time the Aggies played against Hampton, they came away with a 74-63 win over the Pirates at Corbett on Feb. 14, 2011.
From the coach:
“One of the things we have to do a better job of is we allow ourselves to be trapped. If we want to be successful going forward – because there is no more room for error – we have to move the ball. When the trap is coming, move the ball over to the next guy who is open. I don’t know if we’re trying to be super heroes or what. But that’s a part of our learning process. It was encouraging to see Waylan Siverand play well. Hopefully he can sustain it against Hampton and on into the tournament.” Head men’s basketball Cy Alexander on the Aggies going forward