GREENSBORO (November 15, 2017) – North Carolina A&T beat The Citadel at their own game Wednesday night. The Aggies made 3-pointers in transition. They caught alley-oop dunks in transition, and they made crisp passes in transition for layups. When it was over the normally half-court minded Aggies never trailed in a 92-73 win over the run-and-gun Bulldogs at Corbett Sports Center.
“Absolutely not,” said N.C. A&T coach Jay Joyner when asked if he would consider change his offense to a more up-and-down pace considering the success the Aggies had Wednesday. “This was a one-time thing. But with their style of play I didn’t think it would be effective for us to come out and run a bunch of stuff. We just wanted to get the ball inside and attack the rim on the break.”
Redshirt junior Femi Olujobi finished with 29 points and nine rebounds on 13-for-15 shooting as the Aggies shot 56 percent from the field. Graduate Devonte Boykins flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and had seven assists. Junior Kwei Lartey finished with 11 points and six assists while freshman Kameron Langley had eight points, six assists and five rebounds.
“The most important stat is the win, said head coach Jay Joyner. “Boykins stepped up tonight and I am happy to see him playing well, that is why he is here. It was a good team effort for 40 minutes. I was not happy with over 20 turnovers, but I am happy with the “W”. As long as several guys can continue to be consistent it will give others an opportunity to play up to their ability.”
The Aggies shot 58 percent in the first half as Olujobi led the way with 16 points including a pair of thunderous dunks. Boykins was rolling from long range, making 3 of 4 3-pointers while Amari Hamilton came off the Aggie bench to spark the Aggies with a pair of threes.
N.C. A&T began the night on an 11-0 run holding the Bulldogs scoreless for the first three minutes. That lead ballooned to 14 on a fastbreak in which junior Japhet Kadji spotted Olujobi running the floor for a layup and a 17-3 lead. The Citadel chopped that lead to six, 19-13, before a 10-run sparked 3-pointers from Lartey and Boykins put the Aggies ahead 29-13 with 7:57 remaining to halftime. The Aggies maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the half and led 48-36 at halftime.
Olujobi scored three of the first four baskets for the Aggies starting the second half. Trailing the Aggies 60-44 with 13:05 left to play the Bulldogs hit back-to-back 3-pointers cutting the deficit to 10, 60-50. Boykins responded by sinking a basket plus drawing a foul and converting the 3-point play to end the Bulldogs spurt. Kadji’s three and a layup by Keyes brought the Aggie lead to 72-54 with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation. The Aggies led by as many as 22 before the night ended.
The Citadel had three score in double figures led by Preston Parks 19 points. Frankie Johnson added 13 points and Quayson Williams led the bench scoring with 10.
“We are working on getting better each day by stressing defense,” Joyner said. “I think the guys did a phenomenal job and executed the game plan. I challenged the guys and they all came up huge.”
N.C. A&T heads to Florida for their next game at Jacksonville University on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.