Before suffering a loss to Bethune-Cookman last Monday, the North Carolina A&T basketball team won three straight conference games.
Interim Head Coach Jay Joyner captured his first victory against Savannah State 63-62. This victory ended their nine-game losing streak. This was also the first win of 2016 for the Aggies. Since former Head Coach Cy Alexander’s resignation, the Aggies seem to have a rejuvenated esteem under the direction of their new coach.
Joyner’s familiarity with the Aggies comes from his playing career with S.C. State from 1993-96. He was a member of the Bulldogs’ 1995-96 championship team coached by Cy Alexander. After leaving S.C. State, he competed professionally overseas.
His coaching career began in Tennessee, where he served as the assistant coach at Columbia State Community College for the 2005-06 season, helping guide the Chargers to the conference championship game under Head Coach Malcolm Montgomery.
Joyner got his professional start in athletics in 2003, where he served as the administrative assistant/assistant strength coach for the men’s basketball program at Tennessee State under Alexander.
Alexander and Joyner’s history of team work has produced championships and postseason appearances. Joyner looks to bring that winning legacy alongside Coach Alexander to the A&T program.
Alexander stepped away with a career record of 386-386 over 26 seasons of coaching. He was 43-80 in four seasons as the Aggies headman. Over the first 22 games of the 2015-16 season, the Aggies are 5-17 overall and 2-6 in the MEAC.
In Alexander’s first season as head coach, A&T won the 2013 MEAC tournament title and made its first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament appearance in 18 years. The Aggies went on to beat Liberty 73-72 in the first round of games in Dayton, Ohio to secure the school’s first-ever NCAA tournament win.
The loss to the Wildcats cost the Aggies a chance to move into a tie for fourth place. The Aggies now stand in seventh place while the Wildcats (10-16, 7-5 MEAC) remain in fourth. The Aggies will take the road to Tallahas-
see, FL. Sat. February 27 to face the Rattlers of Florida A&M at 6 p.m.
Janay Boone – Managing Editor