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MBB Gets Rare Win at B-CU, Moves Back Into 1st (461 hits)

A&T 86, B-CU 80

After a disappointing loss at Florida A&M that moved the North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team from first to third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Aggies bounced back in a big way with a rare win at Bethune-Cookman, 86-80, at Moore Gymnasium Monday night.

The Aggies (18-12, 11-4 MEAC) are now in a five-way tie for first place with one regular-season game remaining at N.C. Central on Thursday (7:30 p.m.). A win there gives N.C. A&T its first regular-season title in 26 years. The Aggies 18 regular-season wins are the most they have had since the 1991-92 season.

Aggies senior Davaris McGowens was incredible. He scored 11 of his team-high 23 in the second half. McGowens went 10-for-19 from the field and collected 11 rebounds for his 10th career double-double.

Freshman Kameron Langley also recovered from his performance at FAMU. After his first career game without at least one assist, Langley ran the N.C. A&T offense efficiently by dishing out nine assists and scoring 14 points.

The Aggie bench led by junior Aaren Edmead outscored the Wildcats bench 30-6. Edmead chipped in 19 points, six rebounds and four assists while converting on 8-for-12 free throws. Senior Denzel Keyes came off the bench and had nine points with eight rebounds, and sophomore Femi Olujobi grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight points.

"Unbelievable performance by our team, unbelievable game,” said N.C. A&T coach Jay Joyner. “We knew it was going to be a battle, and I am just so happy for these young men. They fought hard for 40-minutes even though we got into foul trouble. The guys stepped up, even if they were on the bench they showed energy. Our entire team showed energy. It was a great road win and we finally have some momentum heading into the tournament.”

The Aggies came out of the break sluggish as the Wildcats opened the second half on an 11-2 run to jump out to a 53-51 lead at the 14:58 mark. Langley went coast-to-coast tying the game at 53. He drew a foul after making the layup, but missed the free throw. Keyes, however, crashed the glass and had a nice put back to help the Aggies regain the lead.

After the under 12 media timeout, the Aggies regained control of the game by going on an 11-0 run to take a 70-59 advantage with 9:39 to play. McGowens was a force in the paint scoring three straight baskets followed by a 3-pointer by graduate guard Devonte Boykins and a fast break layup by Keyes.

B-CU stopped the Aggie run, but Edmead began to take over with his quickness. He went 6-for-10 on free throws in the second half and propelled the Aggies to their largest lead of the game, 74-61 with a reverse layup amongst the Wildcats.

But the Aggies, who came into the game having defeated the Wildcats only once in 22 years in Daytona Beach, saw B-CU get strong again at home. Over a four-minute the Wildcats unleashed an 11-2 run to cut the Aggies lead to three, 75-72, with 4:31 to go.

On consecutive trips, Edmead was fouled and made 3 of 4 free throws with 2 ˝ minutes on the clock building an Aggie 78-72 lead. B-CU scored the next four points before Langley, who has hit several big shots over the second-half of the conference season, drained a 3-pointer from the right corner as the shot-clock buzzer sounded to give the Aggies an 81-76 lead.

The Wildcats (18-12, 11-4 MEAC) did not give up. In the final minute, B-CU got the deficit down to two, 82-80, with 25 seconds remaining. But McGowens scored in the paint again. That basket coupled with a Wildcats turnover was the final blow. N.C. A&T is now in a first-place tie with Hampton, Bethune-Cookman, Norfolk State and Savannah State.

“I tip my hat off to these young men,” said Joyner. “We’re going to get everything these guys put in because we have to go out and beat people. No one is going to give us anything at this point in the season. If we put in maximum effort for 40 minutes like we did tonight, I like our chances. Every young man went back to the locker room exhausted. I congratulated each one of them.”


Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information

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Posted By: Elynor Moss
Tuesday, February 27th 2018 at 11:57AM
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