Thursday, December 8, 2016

TSU Tigers Ready for Road Test at NC State

at NC STATE (6-2)
Saturday, Dec. 10  |  4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT)
Reynolds Coliseum  |  Raleigh, N.C.

TV:  RSN/ACC Network Extra - Bob Rathbun (pxp) and Mike Gminski (Analysis) on the call
VIDEO STREAM: ACC Network Extra / WatchESPN
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter - @TSU_Tigers |  Instagram - @TSUTigers  |  #BigBlueRising

OPENING TIP: The Tennessee State men’s basketball team travels to Raleigh, N.C. to take on NC State on Saturday, Dec. 10. The Tigers are 7-1 for the first time since making the jump to the NCAA Division I level prior to the 1977-78 season.
HOW TO WATCH: Saturday’s game will stream live on ACC Network Extra and the WatchESPN app. The game can also be seen on FOX Sports South/FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Sun, FOX Sports Midwest Plus/FOX Sports Indiana Plus, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, YES, NESN, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh, SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports North, FOX Sports Wisconsin, FOX Sports Southwest Plus, FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports San Diego, FOX Sports Prime Ticket, ROOT Sports Rocky Mtn and ROOT Sports Northwest. 
LAST TIME OUT: Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) hit the game-winning jumper with 8.4 seconds left in a 72-71 win at Lipscomb on Dec. 3. Six TSU players scored in double figures highlighted by double-doubles from McCall (10 p, 11 r), Wayne Martin (16 p, 12 r) and Jordan Reed (11 p, 14 r).
ABOUT NC STATE: Selected sixth in the ACC Preseason Poll, NC State is 6-2 on the season. Dennis Smith, Jr., a freshman named to the Preseason All-ACC team, leads the Wolfpack offense with 18.3 points and 4.9 assists per game. Four NC State players are averaging 13.0 points or more per game. The Wolfpack is coming off a 77-73 win over Boston University on Dec. 3 to bounce back from a road loss at Illinois.
TSU VS. THE ACC: TSU has gone 0-14 versus teams that currently make up the ACC. Included in the record is five games versus Louisville and one versus Virginia Tech prior to joining the ACC.

IN THE NATION: For the second week in a row, TSU is ranked 17th in the Mid-Major Top 25, which was released on Dec. 5. In the AP Top 25 Poll, the Tigers received votes in the Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 polls.

UP NEXT: TSU hosts Alabama State at the Gentry Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. as the second game of a basketball doubleheader. TSU’s women’s team will host Fisk at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday to kick off the doubleheader.


NCCU Eagles Soar past LIU Brooklyn

DURHAM, North Carolina -- North Carolina Central University seniors Patrick Cole (Newark, N.J.) and Del'vin Dickerson (Houston, Texas) combined for career-high games as the Eagles picked up a decisive victory over LIU Brooklyn, 79-56 on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at McDougald-McLendon Arena.

Cole served out a career-high 13 assists, which is good for the fifth-most in a single game, and bested his previous mark of 11 that he set against Jackson State during his triple-double. Dickerson picked up a career-high 23 points, and shot 11-for-17 from the field, becoming the third Eagle to score over 20 points in a game.

Cole also had 18 points for his fourth double-double of the season with five rebounds.

NCCU (6-3) was tied twice with LIU (6-3), but the Eagles never conceded the lead and held an advantage for 38 minutes of the 40. The Eagles took a 15-point lead to the break at 39-24, and later expanded the lead to as many as 25 in the late stages at 75-50.

NCCU made over 50 percent of its shots for the fourth time this season, shooting 56.1 percent, and the Eagles held LIU to just 33.3 percent shooting while allowing just one made three-pointer.

Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C.) was the third Eagle to score in double figures with 14 points and three assists, and Pablo Rivas continued his efficient shooting with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting with seven rebounds. Will Ransom (Fort Worth, Texas) protected the paint once again with a game-high three blocks.

LIU was led by Iverson Fleming (North Brunswick, N.J.) who put up a team-high 16 points, and Jerome Frink (Jersey City, N.J.) was close to a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Eagles return to the road to start a three-game trip on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Coastal Carolina University.



Strong start breeds strong finish

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- A good indication of which Div. I black college basketball teams will do well once conference play starts is how well they do in non conference play.

Given that metric, not many teams are going to be good this year.

On the NCAA Div. I level, only two HBCU teams – 7-1 Tennessee State out of the Ohio Valley Conference and 5-3 North Carolina Central out of the MEAC – can boast winning records so far.

The Tigers, under third-year head coach Dana Ford, have built their record with six wins on the road against mid-major competition. Their only blemish so far is an 83-59 loss at crosstown Nashville foe Vanderbilt of the SEC.

Ford, 32, the youngest Div. I head basketball coach, won the 2015 OVC Coach of the COYear award after leading the Tigers to a 20-11 record last year and a berth in the postseason Tournament. They return several of the key components in last year’s run.


Celebration Bowl: NCCU quarterback Malcolm Bell and the Eagles strategize for upcoming GSU matchup

ATLANTA, Georgia -- On December 17, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will be filled with talent and determination as some of the best college athletes and coaches in the country compete in the 2016 Celebration Bowl matchup.

The game is based upon the final regular season teams standing in the MEAC football championship and the SWAC championship games. North Carolina Central University 9-2 overall, (8-0) will represent the MEAC and Grambling State University 10-1 overall, (9-0) will represent the SWAC.

“This is the first Celebration Bowl for us,” Malcolm Bell, NCCU’s quarterback said. “Honestly, it’s nothing different about this game besides the huge audience and atmosphere, but at the end of the day football is football.” It all comes down to who wants it more and who executes the best.”

The Virginia native says in order to defeat the Tigers that it’s vital that they come out with energy, effort, execution and enthusiasm.

“Those things a lone can give us the winning edge along with discipline,” he said.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Peabody's Price commits to Grambling

GRAMBLING, Louisiana -- Peabody senior running back Bruce Price knew where he wanted to continue his career, but wanted to wait until the time was right.

The bruising 6-foot-1 and 235-pound back took to Twitter to give his verbal commitment to Grambling Monday.

"I loved the atmosphere," Price said. "The coaches and I have grown a bond over the time and they have a saying out there that is 'Where everybody is somebody.' I loved the people there and I figured that was a good choice for my family and I."

Price helped the Warhorses reach the second round of the Class 2A playoffs as he rushed for 1,632 yards and 29 touchdowns on 240 carries.

Peabody went 8-4 this season and finished third in District 3-3A, while recording the school's first home playoff victory since joining the LHSAA when it rallied from trailing 27-7 after one quarter to defeat St. James, 41-33, in the first round of the playoffs.

Similarly, Grambling rallied back from a 17-0 halftime deficit against Alcorn in the SWAC Championship game on Dec. 3 in Houston to win 27-20 and earn its first SWAC title since 2011.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SCSU's Leonard Tabbed as MEAC Defensive Player of the Year

NEW YORK CITY -- South Carolina State redshirt junior linebacker Darius Leonard received one of the highest league honors this season by being named MEAC Defense Player of the Year, Tuesday (Dec.6) morning at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

North Carolina A&T State running back Tarik Cohen was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Year, the league announced.
The conference announced the award winners in New York City, in a partnership with the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame, during the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner.

All honors were voted on by the MEAC's head football coaches and sports information directors.

"It was an honor to win this award, I'm glad that I can uphold the tradition by bringing the defensive player of the year award back to South Carolina State for the fourth year in a row, "said Leonard. "I would like to think my coaches and my teammates for helping me accomplish such a prestigious honor."

Leonard (6-3, 220) led the conference in tackles, as he collected 124 this season (6th in FCS). He was selected the 2016 Preseason All-MEAC Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the 2016 All-MEAC First Team. A three-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Week, Leonard finished the season with 78 solo tackles (4th in FCS), 14.5 tackles for a loss of 64 yards, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, five pass deflections, four forced fumbles (8th in FCS) and two blocked kicks. Leonard notched a season-high 19 tackles against #3 Clemson on Oct. 15. The Lake View, S.C. native has 281 total tackles in three seasons of play with one remaining. Leonard is also a finalist for the 2016 Buck Buchanan Award.

South Carolina State now becomes the first school in MEAC history to have four consecutive Defense Player of the Year Award honorees. The past four winners including Leonard are linebacker Joe Thomas in 2013, and defensive lineman Javon Hargrave in 2014 & 2015.He is the 16th Bulldog to earn the honor.

For more information on South Carolina State Athletics visit or call the Office of Athletic Media Relations at (803) 536-7060.


Big South Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs Football to face both NCA&T and NCCU in 2017

BOILING SPRINGS, North Carolina -- Gardner-Webb announced its 2017 football schedule Tuesday afternoon, featuring five home games in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium.

The Runnin' Bulldogs will face six FCS teams next season that were ranked in the top-25 during the 2016 regular season.

Gardner-Webb will open its season on Saturday, September 2 against North Carolina A&T in Boiling Springs – the first meeting between the two schools in football. The Aggies were ranked as high as ninth during the regular season and made an appearance in the FCS playoffs in 2016.

The Runnin' Bulldogs will fly to Laramie, Wyo., on S2ndeptember 9 to face a Wyoming squad that won eight games this season and is set to make an appearance in the Poinsetta Bowl against BYU. Gardner-Webb will return home to face Western Carolina (9/16) and will travel to face FCS playoff squad Wofford (9/23) one week later.

A home date with Division II Shorter awaits on October 7, before a two-game road swing that begins at MEAC champion North Carolina Central (10/14). The Eagles are ranked in the top-20 nationally and will play in the Airforce Reserve Celebration Bowl against SWAC champion Grambling State on December 17.

Gardner-Webb opens Big South Conference play on the road at Kennesaw State (10/21), then hosts 2016 co-champions Liberty (10/28) and Charleston Southern (11/4) in back-to-back weeks.

The 'Dogs will close out the 2017 regular season slate on the road with consecutive dates at Monmouth (11/11) and Presbyterian (11/18). The finale marks the first time since 2013 that GWU has closed the regular season with the Blue Hose.

Game times will be finalized in July 2017, once television dates are determined.

2017 Gardner-Webb Football Schedule
09/09 at Wyoming
09/23 at Wofford
10/14 at North Carolina Central
10/21 at Kennesaw State *
10/28 LIBERTY *
11/11 at Monmouth *
11/18 at Presbyterian *

* Denotes Big South Conference Game