Aggies and Bulldogs battle for top spot in MEACJanuary 31, 2001
GREENSBORO, NC -South Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University will battle Thursday night in Orangeburg, South Carolina for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs (8-1 MEAC) are currently one game ahead of A&T (6-2) in the loss column in the MEAC standings. Both teams have won four of their last five games, however, A&T is in the midst of a four-game winning streak. Before South Carolina State's surprising loss at home to an improved Howard University team on Saturday night, the Bulldogs were on a six-game winning streak.
South Carolina State is led in scoring by Clemson transfer, Vincent Whitt, who was named co-MEAC Player of the Week this week. The 6-foot-6 senior guard is currently averaging 16.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Whitt has shown his senior poise in recent games. In a win over Coppin State earlier this month, he was having an off day from the field during the game (4-of-13). However, in the closing minutes of the game, he connected on a key three-point attempt and a crucial driving jump shot to seal the win for the Bulldogs.
Greg Gray and LeRon Mapp are also transfer players for South Carolina State that are contributing to the team's success. Gray is a 6-foot-7 junior guard who is currently averaging 14.9 points and 3.0 steals per game. Gray comes to South Carolina State from Santa Ana College in California. Mapp, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from Dowling College in New York is currently averaging 10.3 points per game.
Returning players Dexter Hall and Luis Radford are also key figures in head coach Cy Alexander's scheme. Hall is the leading rebounder in the MEAC with an average of 9.2 per game. Radford is a big man with a soft touch from the outside. The 6-foot-9 junior forward is sixth in the MEAC in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting at a clip of 39-percent (23-of-39 attempts).
The Aggies are led by it's junior forward Bruce Jenkins and senior guard James Miller. Jenkins is just returning back to form after experiencing back spasms earlier in the month. The 6-foot-6 forward is currently averaging 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Jenkins has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds three times thus far this season, with one of his top performances being a 20-point, 17-rebound performance against Norfolk State University.
Miller is the teams leading scorer, averaging 16.5 points per game. He has posted double figures every game this season except for two games. In A&T's loss to Duke earlier in the season (108-73), Miller dazzled the Cameron Indoor Stadium crowd by scoring 34 points.
Anthony Debro and Tarrell Robinson are also key ingredients in head coach Curtis Hunter's game plan. Debro is averaging 10.1 points per game, while Robinson is averaging 9.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Last year, South Carolina State swept the season series, winning 59-57 in Greensboro and 87-84 in Orangeburg. Overall, A&T leads the series 36-27. However, dating back to the 1995 season, the Bulldogs have beaten A&T nine out of the last 13 times.