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Aggies' Drought Continues In Daytona

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 02/04/2012
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Senior Nic Simpson had 14 points against Bethune-Cookman on Saturday. Photo by Charles E. Watkins
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - North Carolina A&T's string of bad luck in Daytona Beach, Fla., continued Saturday as Bethune-Cookman used 21 Aggie turnovers to come away with a 92-79 win at Moore Gymnasium on Saturday.

The Aggies have now lost 15 straight at Bethune-Cookman with their last win in Daytona Beach coming on January 28, 1995.

A&T's latest attempt to defeat the Wildcats in Florida was thwarted by 30 points from Wildcats guard Kevin Dukes as he hit 8 of 14 3-pointers. B-CU also scored 33 points off of A&T's turnovers.

The worst stretch occurred at the 13-minute mark of the second half. A&T was gaining the momentum after going from 10 down early in the second half to trailing by one, 54-53, on a Nic Simpson jumper in the lane with 13 ½ minutes remaining.

But B-CU turned the Aggies inability to hold on to the basketball into 11 points during a 19-4 run that gave the Wildcats a 73-57 lead as Ricky Johnson capped off the run with a 3-pointer. It didn't help A&T that B-CU also picked up five offensive rebounds during the same stretch.

 "We shot the ball well," said Aggies coach Jerry Eaves about an Aggies team that shot 54 percent from the floor on Saturday. "But we turned the ball over tonight for no reason at all. They weren't even pressing."

A&T found themselves back in the game as Marc Hill drove to the basket and was fouled. Hill completed the 3-point play and then hit another free throw after the Wildcats were called for a delay of game. The possession cut the Wildcats lead to seven, 80-73, with five minutes to play.

B-CU pulled away again as Dukes hit a jumper in the lane. Adrien Coleman followed with a drive down the lane, where he completed a one-hand slam while being fouled. Coleman's free throw gave B-CU an 85-73 lead with 3:24 to play.

"Anytime someone scores 90 points in regulation, you know you didn't play defense," said Eaves. "We were allowing people to shoot layups and that's not the way we play. That's not Aggie basketball. We have to get it back to where we had it."

After winning five straight, the Aggies have now lost their last two. Five Aggies did score in double figures led by Adrian Powell's 18. Nic Simpson added 14 on 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range, and Lawrence Smith, DaMetrius Upchurch and Hill had 11 apiece.

B-CU's Garrius Holloman added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats and was a big part of the Wildcats securing 17 offensive rebounds as he had five of his own.

"They pretty much got all the 50-50 plays," said Eaves. "The ball must have hit our hands 25 times where we could have stolen or rebounded the ball, and it bounced to them. The next thing you know, they're shooting another layup."

Dukes got going early for the Wildcats. He hit three straight 3-poiners to give B-CU a 30-21 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half. Dukes hit six first-half 3-pointers on his way to 22 first-half points, but the Aggies were still down just 35-32 with two minutes remaining in the first half on a R.J. Buck drive.

The Aggies (10-14, 5-4 MEAC) are back in action 7:30 p.m., Monday when they play at Florida A&M.

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