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A&T Women Go In Search Of Conference Win No. 10

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 02/23/2013
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Freshman center Eboni Ross has been named MEAC Rookie of the Week five times this season. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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North Carolina A&T Aggies (17-8, 9-3 MEAC) at N.C. Central Eagles (1-24, 1-11 MEAC)
February 23, 2013
Time: 2 p.m.
Facility: McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium
Series: A&T leads, 16-5

PROBABLE STARTERS: G Ariel Bursey (5-10 So., 5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg,1.4 apg); G Amber Calvin (5-8 RJr., 10.6 ppg, 3.4 rbg, 2.3 apg); F Tracy King (5-10 Jr., 10.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg); F JaQuayla Berry (5-11 Sr., 12.8 ppg, 6.2 rbg, 1.2 apg); C Eboni Ross (6-2 RFr., 6.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.4 apg)

CHIT CHAT:  After having its six-game winning streak snapped, North Carolina A&T bounced back with a 67-45 win over Savannah State two days later on Feb. 18 to split its road trip.  The Aggies will be on the road again this weekend, traveling east on I-40 to take on their archrival, N.C. Central on Saturday.  The last time the two teams met, the Aggies bested the Eagles by 40 points, holding the Eagles to just 27 points.  It was the fewest total points the Aggies have allowed in a game since A&T held UNC Wilmington to just 25 in 1995.  It also gave the Aggies their sixth straight win over the Eagles. The Eagles will be looking to gain their first home win of the year on Saturday.

From the Coach
"I thought we responded to the S.C. State game defensively.  I felt like going in there, there was a focus and there was a different tone and effort, and that was obviously the difference in the game."  
A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson after Monday's 67-45 win at Savannah State

It's A "Lock": Tarrell Robinson has been preaching defense since he took over the program in May.  Last season, the Aggies allowed an average of 68.3 points.  This season, the Aggies are allowing an average of 55.9 points per game.  The last time the Aggies held an opponent to under an average of 60 points a game was in 1995-96, when opponents averaged 55.9 points per game.  A&T has held an opponent to under 60 points per game for the season five times in Division I history-1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1994-95 and 1995-96.   

The Opponent:  N.C. Central picked up their first win of the year with a 43-38 victory at Savannah State on Feb. 16.  The Eagles then lost a close one, 40-39, at S.C. State on Monday.  The Eagles saw a nine-point lead in the first half slip away in that contest, and had a 15-10 lead at the half. The Eagles are led offensively by redshirt senior Chasidy Williams, who was named to the preseason All-MEAC second team.  Williams is averaging 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.  Freshman Tisha Dixon is averaging 7.3 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game.  Dixon earned MEAC Rookie of the Week honors on Feb. 4. 

Potential Gameday Star Power: North Carolina A&T:  Redshirt freshman Eboni Ross enters Saturday's game after scoring double figures in her last three games, and winning her fifth MEAC Rookie of the Week honor on Monday.  She is averaging 9.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in conference play.  N.C. Central: Freshman Tisha Dixon recorded 16 points and 16 rebounds in her last two games, helping the Eagles to a 1-1 record.  She had 10 points in a 40-39 loss at S.C. State on Monday.  .

The Magic Number for A&T: 50: The Aggies are 5-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better in a game this season.  The Aggies finished Monday's game at Savannah State with a 51 percent field goal percentage (26-for-51).

Senior JaQuayla Berry has scored in double figures in the last eight straight games.  That is the longest double-figure scoring streak by a player on the team this season.

Tracy King recorded a season-best 22 points twice this season, including against N.C. Central on Dec. 1.  She shot 7-for-13 from the floor and was 5-for-6 from the free throw line in that contest.

Eboni Ross is one MEAC Rookie of the Week honor shy of tying Tiffanie Adair's record of six selections in 2011-12.

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