Men’s basketball team wins opener; drops one to USC Upstate

Alexis wainwright- Register Reporter

The North Carolina A&T Men’s basketball team opened their season Friday against Greensboro College.

The Aggies gained a 91-61 win.

This will be the third straight season that the Aggies opened their season playing against Division III Greensboro College and won.

The Aggies now have a record of 1-0.

At the start of the game, the Aggies scored two straight baskets taking an 8-7 lead.

Later in the game forward Nick Reese scored a layup straight up to the basket in the opening frame and was able to build a 23-12 lead following an 11-0 run with 7:46 remaining in the first half. The Pride then answered the Aggies run by scoring five straight points, including a 3-point play by Hamilton Hawkins to cut the lead to 23-17.

The Aggies surged and moved the lead back to double figures, 28-17, as center, Steven Burrough made his free throws.

The Pride grabbed 23 offensive rebounds but that was not enough as the Aggies captured the win against Greensboro College.

Bruce Beckford made his fifth career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. With the help of guards, James Whitaker and Trey Brown, contributing 16 points each.

“I felt good about it, I think we have a lot of talent. We just have to get use to playing with each other but i’m confident that we’re going to be a good team,” said Beckford.

“It was an opportunity to play against someone else to see what we need to work on,” explained Head Coach Cy Alexander. He also added,” We have a lot to work on.”

Whitaker was responsible for a lot of the Aggies points to reach double figures. The Aggies led 34-25 to end the first half.

“Whitaker is a very good athlete,” explained Alexander.

Whitaker’s offensive skills rolled over into the second half, as he was responsible for helping the Aggies gain a larger lead over the Pride. His two-point play three minutes into the half gave N.C. A&T a 41-27 lead. He also scored the first seven points in the second half.

Brown gave the Aggies a 20 point lead for the first time in the game when he accounted for three of his free throw attempts and gave the Aggies a 56-36 lead. Brown finished with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting, as he made several drives to the basket.

The Aggies started off the week by facing USC Upstate in Corbett Sports Center, where they lost 46-63. The Aggies shot 32 percent from the field and 45 percent from the line.

Bruce Beckford led the scoring for N.C. A&T with 12 points and 9 rebounds. James Whitaker went 4-for-14 from the field and grabbed 5 rebounds.

The Aggies will play away for 12 straight games that will start against Northern Kentucky Wednesday. The Aggies will return back home on Dec. 28 to face N.C. Wesleyan at Corbett Sports Center.

“I was very pleased with Trey Brown’s play off the bench. I thought he played under control, made good things happen and made some nice passes also,” said Alexander.

The Aggies have a promising season ahead.

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