Delaware State (2-15, 0-2 MEAC vs. North Carolina A&T (7-8, 0-0 MEAC)
Date: January 8, 2018
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Facility: Memorial Hall
Series: A&T leads, 57-32
Radio: ESPN Triad Radio, 1320AM/1230 AM/93.7 FM/104.9 FM
PROBABLE STARTERS: F Davaris McGowens (6-7, 230, Sr., 5.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg); G Aaren Edmead (5-10, 165, Jr., 9.2 ppg, 2.7 apg); G Kameron Langley (6-2, 205, Fr., 5.7 ppg, 4.1 apg); G Devonte Boykins (6-2, 180, Gr., 9.6 ppg, 3.1 apg); F Femi Olujobi (6-8, 233, Jr., 21.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg).
AGGIES OVERVIEW: North Carolina A&T finally gets a chance to play a conference game. The Aggies are the only team in the MEAC without a conference game played. Outside of four Ivy League teams, Cornell, Yale, Columbia and Brown, the Aggies are the only Division I team in the country who has failed to play a conference game. That will change Monday night when the Aggies face Delaware State on the road. The Aggies last win at Memorial Hall occurred in 2011 when Thomas Coleman went for 30 points and 12 rebounds in a 78-73 overtime win. The Aggies have in fact lost four straight to the Hornets with their last win over DSU coming on Jan. 20, 2014, a 66-55 victory at Corbett Sports Center. In December, the Aggies played five games in eight days. Tonight, will be only their second time competing over the past two weeks. It will be their first action in 10 days after Saturday’s home contest against Norfolk State was postponed until Jan. 17. The Aggies are looking to improve on their perimeter shooting after going 6-for-24 from 3-point range against Virginia Tech.
DELAWARE STATE OVERVIEW: Delaware State has a had rough start to their season. The Hornets are on an 11-game losing streak coming into Monday’s game which includes Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference losses to North Carolina Central and South Carolina State. On the upside for the Hornets, each loss was only by three points. The Hornets are led by fourth-year head coach Keith Walker. Walker is 4-0 against the Aggies. This season, Walker’s team is led Simon Okolue who is averaging 10.5 points per game. Okolue is also averaging 6.8 rebounds per game. Kobe Gantz is averaging 13.5 points per game, but he has not played in 11 games. Also, averaging in double figures is Artem Tavakalyn. Tavakalyn is averaging 10.1 points, and he is their top 3-point threat, shooting 34.6 percent (18-for-52) on the season. Pinky Wiley leads the Hornets in assists at 2.2 per game. Wiley is also averaging 8.8 points per game. Delaware State is last in the conference in 3-point shooting at 28.8 percent.
Stepping Up: Senior Davaris McGowens has started the last two games for the Aggies and has been superb in those two opportunities. McGowens has scored 28 points on 12-for-18 shooting in the Aggies last two games. The Aggies are 1-1 over the past two games with a win over Lamar and a loss to Virginia Tech.
News & Notes:
- N.C. A&T’s forward Femi Olujobi opened the season with six straight 20-point games. He went the next five games without scoring 20 or more points. But in the Aggies last four games, Olujobi has reached the 20-point or more plateau. He is averaging 21.9 points per game.
- If the Aggies win tonight, it will be their first conference road win since beating Florida A&M 77-70 in overtime on Feb. 27, 2015 at the Al Lawson Center. The Aggies have lost nine straight on 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.
- The Aggies have made 244 free throws while their opponents have attempted only 281. Against non-Power 5 schools the Aggies have made 218 FTs and their opponents have attempted 221. The Aggies are 6-2 when they shoot more FTs than their opponents than their opponents this season.