N.C. Central (9-19, 7-8) vs. North Carolina A&T (19-8,14-1)
Date: March 1, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Facility: McDougald-McLendon Arena
Series: NCAT leads 26-6
PROBABLE STARTERS: F Quenswayla Story (6-1, Sr., 5.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg); G Shantell Bostick (5-7, So., 5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg); G Cinia McCray (5-9, So., 9.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg); G C’Coriea Foy (6-0, So., 13.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg); C Alexus Lessears (6-3, So., 8.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg).
AGGIES OVERVIEW: N.C. A&T is seeking to win the program’s eighth Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season title Thursday night. If the Aggies win tonight they will be the No. 1 seed for the 2018 MEAC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament, March 5-10, at Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va. They will also win at least a share of the regular-season title. The Aggies play at N.C. Central on Thursday evening in the final regular-season contest for both teams. The Aggies have won two in a row against the Eagles, securing a 67-54 win at Corbett Sports Center on Jan. 27. Alexus Lessears’ double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds led the Aggies against the Eagles. Cinia McCray led the bench scoring with 12 points and C’Coriea Foy added 10 points with seven steals. C’Coriea Foy is leading the Aggies in scoring (13.4), assists (3.1), steals (2.6) and minutes played (27.6). Alexus Lessears is the team-leader in rebounds (9.0), blocked shots (1.3) and field goal percentage (.503).
NCCU EAGLES OVERVIEW: N.C. Central has won three in a row with wins over Howard (78-77), at S.C. State (81-63) and at Savannah State (74-61). Rodneysha Martin ranks ninth in conference scoring (13.4) while Paulina Afriyie is 23rd in scoring (10.1). Martin is second in free throw percentage (.817) and Afriyie is fourth in field goal percentage (.484) and fifth in rebounding (8.1). Nationally, NCCU is ranked 51st in rebounds per game (40.89), 60th in turnovers forced (18.29), 89th in free throw attempts (533) and 92nd in free throws made (374). They lead the MEAC in free throw percentage (70.2) and are second in free throws made. On Tuesday, Kieche White was named MEAC Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.
NEWS & NOTES
The 2017-18 Aggies are looking to become the third team in school history to go 15-1 in MEAC play, joining the 2007-08 and 2008-09 teams. A 15-1 finish will be the best conference finish of the Tarrell Robinson era. The Aggies are 72-23 under Robinson in the MEAC.
Nationally, the Aggies are ranked in the top-50 in eight categories; third in turnovers forced (23.11), sixth in offensive rebounds per game (17), seventh in rebounds per game (44.22), 19th in turnover margin (5.52), 21st in field goal percentage defense (35.9), 22nd in 3-point field goal defense (27.9), 33rd in both free throw attempts (585) and in rebounds (1,194).
N.C. A&T leads the MEAC in five categories; scoring offense (67.6), offensive rebounds per game, rebounds per game, scoring margin and turnovers forced.
The Aggies are 17-0 when leading with five minutes remaining and are 15-0 when leading at halftime. Through 15 conference games, the Aggies are 11-0 when leading in assists, when the opponent has more turnovers and when the Aggie bench scores more points.
C’Coriea Foy has scored in double figures in three straight games and in six of her last seven. Alexus Lessears has nine double-digit scoring games and six double figure rebounding games against conference opponents. She has recorded four double-doubles in MEAC play.