Aggie Men earn first road victory

When the North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team faced Hampton last year at the Convocation Center, they were to be a top three seed before the MEAC tournament.This year the Aggies were in search of their first road win of the season and contrary to last year’s outcome, achieved victory in a 56-55 victory off a game winning three-point jumper from junior Tavarus Alston on Monday night.”I was in a rhythm because I hit a couple of threes earlier in the half,” said Alston, who led the Aggies with 21 points on 5-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.Alston averaged 13.5 points and 5.5 assists in the last two games. The game ended the blue and gold’s (3-5, 9-13) four game road-trip and leaves them with three remaining away games on their schedule.The Aggies held the Pirates to just one field goal in the final eight minutes of the game forcing them to shoot a low 20.4 percent from the field.A&T had put themselves in a position to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit, and did not pull within one possession until the final 52 seconds of the game.Sophomore Thomas Coleman hit a free throw to decrease the deficit 54-51, which set up the chance for Alston’s heroics.This led to Alston scoring the final five points for A&T in regulation and assuming the victory on the running three-pointer with 4.3 seconds.”My shot felt good in warm-ups, so that gave me a lot of confidence going into the game,” said Alston.  “I felt I owed it to my teammates to make up for what I did the other night.”While the Aggies saw victory, they also saw defeat when they fell short 77-76 Saturday against Howard in Washington D.C.    With the Aggies trailing by one and plenty of time remaining, Alston took a shot just inside the half court line assuming time was closer to expiring than it really was.After Saturday’s game, “The Howard game went out of my head as soon as I hit (the game winner against Hampton),” Alston said. “As the seconds went down, I was thinking about this is my chance…this is my chance.”Eaves expressed his admiration in Alston’s bounce back performance as a “bold move.””I’m so happy for Tavarus to rebound like he did,” said Eaves. “That showed guts after not taking the appropriate shot the other night. It was a tremendous uplifting win for the team.”Despite their losing efforts in Saturday’s action, the Aggies produced three players in double figures, led by Senior Nicholas Wison’s 21 points off the bench.The Aggies trailed by six during intermission, and did not regain the lead until an Ed Jones 3-pointer at the 6:47 mark in the second half. Howard later assumed a 3-point lead on perimeter jumper just under one minute and junior Robert Johnson tied the game with one of his own to send it to overtime at 12 seconds.A&T will host consecutive home games beginning with Saturday’s battle against Florida A&M, following a visit from Bethune-Cookman College in Corbett Sports Center Monday.They have six remaining home games.       

  • Daniel Henderson