Virginia Tech (10-2) vs. North Carolina A&T (7-7)
Date: December 28, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Facility: Cassell Coliseum
Series: Virginia Tech leads, 5-0
Radio: ESPN Triad Radio, 1320AM/1230 AM/93.7 FM/104.9 FM
PROBABLE STARTERS: F Davaris McGowens (6-7, 230, Sr., 4.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg); G Milik Gantz (6-3, 180, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg); G Kameron Langley (6-2, 205, Fr., 5.7 ppg, 3.9 apg); G Devonte Boykins (6-2, 180, Gr., 10.1 ppg, 3.2 apg); F Femi Olujobi (6-8, 233, Jr., 21.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg).
AGGIES OVERVIEW: North Carolina A&T seems to be in a good spot with one game remaining in their non-conference schedule. The Aggies will face their second ACC opponent of the season in Virginia Tech. Earlier in the season the Aggies lost to Clemson 87-63 at Littlejohn Coliseum. After the Aggies face the Hokies, they will have eight days to prepare for their first conference opponent of the 2017-18 season in Norfolk State. Another plus will be that the Aggies will face the Spartans at Corbett Sports Center where they are 4-0 this season. The Aggies are coming off their seventh win of the season by holding off Lamar 74-70 in Las Vegas. Femi Olujobi was named to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic all-tournament team after scoring 44 points in the two games played at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Aggies also turned to last season’s leading rebounder in senior Davaris McGowens for a boost. McGowens finished with a season-high 16 points and seven rebounds in the Aggies win over Lamar. N.C. A&T will go into conference play with more non-conference wins than any other team in the MEAC.
VIRGINIA TECH OVERVIEW: The Hokies come into the game with several common opponents to N.C. A&T. The Hokies beat their last opponent, Presbyterian, 63-55 on Dec. 19. The Aggies lost to Presbyterian 73-70 on a buzzer-beater at Presbyterian. The Hokies also beat MEAC school Maryland Eastern Shore 93-40 on Dec. 10. The Aggies will face MDES on Jan. 20 and Feb. 19. VT also played Radford on Dec. 6 and came away with a 95-68 win. N.C. A&T lost to the Highlanders 66-60 on Dec. 22 in Las Vegas. The final common opponent the Hokies and the Aggies have is The Citadel. The Aggies defeated The Citadel 92-73 in November, while the Aggies defeated the Bulldogs 132-93. Five Hokies average in double figures led by Ahmed Hill at 16.5 points per game. Hill is also shooting .521 (31-for-71) from 3-point range. Justin Bibbs (15.6), Kerry Blackshear, Jr. (13.2), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (12.8) and Justin Robinson (10.8) are also averaging in double figures. The Hokies are shooting an impressive 54.9 percent from the floor.
Stepping Up: Junior Milik Gantz was rewarded for his play off the bench by earning his first career start as an Aggie last Saturday against Lamar. On Dec. 22, Gantz came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 13 minutes in a close loss to Radford. In his start versus Lamar, Gantz had four points, four assists and two blocks in the Aggies win.
News & Notes:
- N.C. A&T’s forward Femi Olujobi opened the season with four straight 20-point games. He went the next five games without scoring 20 or more points. But in the Aggies last three games, Olujobi has reached the 20-point or more plateau again. He is averaging 21.9 points per game.
- The Aggies have had success this season by going to the free throw line. The Aggies have made 237 free throws this season while their opponents have attempted 266. The Aggies are 6-2 when they shoot more opponents than their opponents this season.
- The Aggies had their best November in school history with five wins including two road wins. The Aggies ended a 36-game losing streak on the road to non-conference opponents earlier this season when they went to Jacksonville and defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins in overtime.
- N.C. A&T has a chance to go into the conference season above .500 for the first time the 1990-91 season when the Aggies went into conference play 4-3 overall. The Aggies already have more wins than they have ever had going into a conference season since having seven non-conference wins during 1990-91.