GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T only has two players with true Division I men’s basketball experience. The Aggies have only one player with at least three years of Division I collegiate experience. Therefore, the Aggies coaching staff knows the Aggies are a work in progress as the team marches toward the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) schedule.
On Friday, the Aggies continued their steps toward growing with a 94-78 loss to Gate City rival UNC Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum. Sophomore Landon Glasper led the Aggies with a game-high 32 points on 12-for-25 shooting from the field and 5-for-11 shooting from 3-point range. They are the most points by an Aggie since Femi Olujobi scored 34 points against Greensboro College on Nov. 10, 2017.
“We are in the learning process right now,” said North Carolina A&T head coach Monté Ross. “We will continue to grind. There is no quit in these guys. I have to find a way to put them in a better position to be successful.”
UNCG partly gained their advantage on Friday night by going 15-for-29 (.517) from 3-point range. The Spartans also out-rebounded A&T 49-28, including 19 offensive rebounds. The Spartans started using the 3-point shot midway through the first half to establish a lead. A&T sophomore Evan Joyner hit a short jumper to cut the Spartans lead to 18-14 with 13:35 remaining in the first half.
Keyshaun Langley responded with a 3-pointer before two Joyner free throws pulled the Aggies to within five. But Keyshaun’s twin brother Kobe added another Spartan three to extend UNCG’s lead to eight. A Donovan Atwell 3-pointer gave the Spartans a 27-16 lead before Glasper scored going to the hoop for the Aggies.
But UNCG’s fourth 3-pointer over a three-minute period, this one by Tim Ceaser, gave the Spartans a 30-18 lead. Ceaser’s three sparked a 13-1 UNCG run capped by an Atwell 3-pointer to give UNCG a 40-19 lead. A Kobe Langley 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Spartans a 52-33 halftime lead.
“I have to look at the tape to see how many of those threes were contested,” said Ross. “If they’re contested threes, and they make them, then you just have to tip your hat to them. But one of the big things is that we got pounded inside. When you give up 19 offensive rebounds, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
North Carolina A&T played better offensively in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the floor as Glasper had 21 of his 32 in the second half. Atwell led UNCG with 18 points. UNCG’s 94 points are the most scored in the series, now tied at 12-12 all-time.
The youthful Aggies, the eighth youngest team in the nation, will continue its growth process on Tuesday when they travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the Virginia Cavaliers at 7 p.m.