Despite the rainy, cool weather, McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium will be sold out today as the best rivalry in HBCU Division I gets ready to kick off with the women's matchup. The student section is already just about packed.
Tenika Neely gives Eagles first lead with 2 FTs, but JaQuayla Berry comes right back with a layup. Spirited crowd for the women despite their record. At least coach Vanessa Taylor won't go winless in her first season. No coach wants to do that.
Ariel Bursey and Amber Calvin hit consecutive buckets to give Aggies a quick 6-2 lead. Tisha Dixon muscles in a layup but Eboni Ross makes it look too easy in a wide open layup. 8-4 Aggies.
Aja Hoyle pulls Eagles to within 1 with 13:05 left in the first half. Dixon is really hustling for the Eagles. Hoyle hits a short jumper to give Eagles a 9-8 lead. Ross comes back and Aggies retake the lead. Lead now at 4 after Adriana Nazario's 3-pointer, and she hits another one. A&T leads 16-9. As the clock winds down, Amber Neely nails a trey. Aggies on a run. Berry's putback gives Aggies 20-11 lead with 6:41 left.
Aggies maintaining 9-pt lead. Ross' 2 FTs makes it an 11-pt lead. She makes it 13. Aggies starting to flex their muscle. Ross is having her way. Scores again. That's 6 straight pts.
A foul is called just before the buzzer for halftime. Dixon misses 1st. Misses 2nd. Aggies lead 28-13.
It is rocking up in here. There was a tug of war contest, a bicycle race; folks are jamming. Ross led all scorers with 12 points – almost half of her team's points. Hoyled led NCCU with 4 pts.
Ariel Bursey scores 1st bucket to put A&T up 30-13. Aggies have extended lead 34-15 with 15:47 left. Not a good offensive game by either team. A&T now leads 41-16. Unless the Eagles make a major rally, I'm signing off till the men.
CIAA score: Shaw women 88, J.C. Smith 58. Guess the Bears wanted to make an impression on TV.
Thankfully, game over. Aggies win 60-34. Ross finishes with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Dixon led the Eagles her own double-double of 14 pts and 12 rebounds.
Sure hope the game is as good as advertised. Now this should be a TV game.
The game may be sold out but not everybody is here. Guess the weather kept some folks away. They'll regret it.
Bruce Beckford gets the Aggies on the scoreboard first with a short jumper. Adrian Powell makes it 4-0. Aggies playing good defense early on. Eagles can barely get a shot off. But Emmanuel Chapman soon takes care of that with a 3 from the left corner.
Aggies are hot. Have hit all of shot attempts. Done it from long range and in the paint. Lead 11-3 with 15:10 left. Time out called by NCCU. Aggies in the house happy so far.
DavRon Williams breaks the streak with 2 FTs. Stanton Kidd hits 2 FTs to pull Eagles to within 4. Beckford slams home the first dunk of the game to make it 13-7. Powell gets a putback and is fouled. Misses his 4th straight FT. Aggies going to need those. But not right now. Jeremy Underwood nails a trey. Aggiels lead 18-9 with 12:13 left.
Aggies came to play toda. Another dunk by Beckford gives them a 9-pt lead. Make that 11-pt after Underwood's layup. 8:57 left. Kidd is fouled and is at the line. Makes 1, 2. Chapman gets a bucket to make it 24-17 Aggies with 8:13 left.
Ingram's 2 FTs closes it to 5. Austin Witter's dunk makes it 7 again but Ingram hits a 3 for a 4-pt lead. Eagles were starting to gain momentum but Ingram was called for a charge on a fast break.
Louisme extends the league to 7 with a 3. Antonin Galaya has come in and jump-started the team. Score NCCU's last 5 pts. Trail by 3 with 1:34 left.
End of 1st half: NCCU 30, A&T 27.
Aggies holding on to 4-pt lead early. Powell can shoot but he can't hit a FT. Finally made one after going 0-5.
A&T back to the pressure defense it had at beginning of the game.
Kidd has back to back baskets. Misses FT at chance at 3-pt play. Ingram gives Eagles their first ead of the game with a try. 38-37 with 13:05 left. But Underwood is fouled and at the line. Misses entire basket. Dang, that was ugly. Makes second. 38-all with 12:50 left.
Ray Willis is fouled on a made basket. Hits FT. Eagles by 3. Their biggest lead. Chapman bounces a pass to Kidd who makes good on it. NCCU leads 43-38 with 11:46 left. Time out Aggies.
Kidd makes it 7-0 with another layup. Eagles defense has picked up also. Aggies can't get a shot off in the zone. Lamont Middleton breaks the streak with a FT. Aggies trail by 6.
Beckford's putback pulls Aggies to 3 with 3:47 left. TO Eagles.
Middletown left-handed layup closes gap to 1. Now he has chance to give A&T the lead at the FT line. Misses 1. Misses 2. Aggies going to cry if they lose this game.
Eagles turn ball over again. Interestingly, Cy Alexander calls TO right before one of the players nails a 3. Oh well. A&T has the ball after a TO.
Powell misses a 3 at the top of the key. NCCU makes them pay after Chapman strolls for a layup to make it 47-44 with 1:15 left.
Middleton is back at the line. Makes 1. Misses 2 but ball is stolen. A&T can tie or go ahead. Middleton fouled again. Misses front end of 1 and 1. He then steals the ball again but can't connect. NCCU has turned into a comedy of errors. Ray Willis at the line with 19.8 seconds left. Makes 1. Makes 2.
Powell puts in a missed shot with 2.1 seconds left. Aggies trail by 2. Ingram is fouled. Makes 1. Makes 2 with 1.5 seconds left. Game over. Fans storm the court. 51-47. Eagles have owned Aggies since returning to MEAC