Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Road to winning taken literally by TSU's Mike Davis

HOUSTON, Texas -- Every door to the Health and Physical Education Arena on Texas Southern's campus stays open. Students pass through, talking on their phones, catching up between classes. A few sit in the stands doing homework.

Sometimes the cheerleaders practice in a corner. Other times, the track team runs up and down the bleachers.

There's a lot going on at this gym in the heart of Houston. All while the basketball team is in the middle of practice.

In the center of it all is Tigers coach Mike Davis, yelling out drills, blowing his whistle, occasionally saying hello to passersby. It's nothing like a normal practice for an NCAA Division I men's basketball program.

Its practices are only one of the things that make TSU unorthodox. Aside from the basketball taking place on the court, nothing about the Tigers is typical.

Open practices, 13 non-conference road games, zero recruiting trips, several transfer players.


How will Southern replace offensive stars Lenard Tillery and Willie Quinn? By creating opportunity

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- The questions for Southern coach Dawson Odums right after the 2013 season ended centered on just how he would replace Dray Joseph, the school’s all-time leading passer, and his top receiver Lee Doss.

They’re similar to the questions he’s getting now regarding Willie Quinn, the school’s all-time leading receiver, and Lenard Tillery, the most prolific rusher the SWAC has ever seen.

The answer to both are the same: it’s not about replacing greatness, it’s about creating the opportunity for others to create their own form of greatness.

“We don’t talk about replacing guys,” Odums said. “What we talk about is a new window of opportunity for somebody to have the spotlight shined upon them.”

The Jaguars rode Tillery and Quinn heavily in 2016.

Tillery won the SWAC rushing title with 1,665 rushing yards, more than 400 yards of Alabama State’s Khalid Thomas (1,237), who was the league’s only other 1,000 yard rusher.


Miller touts Arizona's 'tremendous upside,' but beware Texas Southern

Wednesday, November 30 at 9:00 p.m. (EST)
TV: Pac-12 Arizona (Daron Sutton & Matt Muehlebach)

TUCSON, Arizona -- Arizona's non-conference basketball schedule is very little about the other opponent.

It's about the Wildcats: Getting young guys experience. Defining roles. Just getting better game-by-game.

Home games so far against Cal State Bakersfield, Sacred Heart and Northern Colorado didn't raise much preseason interest, although a couple of those games ended up raising fans' blood pressure in closer-than-expected outcomes.

With that in mind, here comes Texas Southern on Wednesday night (7 p.m. McKale Center).

The Tigers really are one of the most interesting teams in college basketball.

They have a Final Four coach (ex-Indiana head man Mike Davis). They play all their non-conference games away from their Houston home.

They are from one of the lower mid-major conferences (Southwestern Athletic) but pull in big-time transfers.

They have a player who has been all-conference in basketball AND football.


Maynor: HU's 'ship headed in the right direction'

HAMPTON, Virginia -- The non-conference schedule was one of the toughest Hampton University has ever faced. Old Dominion is a Bowl Subdivision team with more scholarships and resources. William and Mary and Coastal Carolina were both ranked in the FCS polls.

Predictably, the Pirates went 0-3 in those games. But their 5-3 record in the MEAC, even if that's no different than 2015, is what HU coach Connell Maynor sees as proof that his program is moving forward.

"Last year, 5-3 was fifth place," Maynor said. "This year, it was third place, so we've got the ship headed in the right direction. We're a couple of plays, a couple of players, away. There's not that big a difference between us and (MEAC champion) North Carolina Central.

"It's a process. Each year, we've gotten a little bit better, a little bit better. If we get a little bit better next year, that'll put us where we want to be."

Still, there's no denying this season could have gone better. For the season, the Pirates had 29 turnovers — more than anyone in FCS except Eastern Kentucky, Mississippi Valley and UT Martin. They also were the nation's 14th most-penalized team.


Alcorn State getting set for Grambling rematch in SWAC Championship

LORMAN, Mississippi -- Alcorn State is 60 minutes away from becoming the first team in 14 years to three-peat as conference champions.

Standing in the way is a 10-1 Grambling squad that's ranked in the top 15 in FCS polls.

The Braves continued preparing for the Tigers with a Tuesday afternoon practice. Alcorn avoided the severe weather that affected most of the Magnolia State, Fred McNair's crew worked out at Spinks-Casem Stadium.

Coach updated the status of All-SWAC QB Lenorris Footman: "We're going to feel him out the rest of this week and will be a game time decision. Hopefully he prepares himself this week to be able to play. Still have Noah Johnson. Noah has done a great job for us this week and doing things that he needs to do to get prepared for this game."

Johnson has shined in Footman's absence, throwing for 11 touchdowns and running in 10. That includes a record-setting 8 TD performance November 12th versus Mississippi Valley. All-American center Detonio Dade feels the offense will be fine regardless. "Which ever one plays, we're going to protect our butts off on the offensive line, and receivers are going to do their thing catching the ball, whoever throws it to them. The quarterback is going to run the ball good just like the running backs. So we're all going to play together no matter who's playing."


Are the Grambling Tigers back?

GRAMBLING, Louisiana — Broderick Fobbs knows enough about Grambling's football history to decipher the difference between the glory days and the present day.

And it's why he'll give a sarcastic and playful roll of the eyes when asked if the Tigers' football program, one that once ruled the college football universe, is back.

A few of Fobbs' players think that's the case following a 52-30 thumping over Southern in the Bayou Classic, but the third-year coach wants to pump the brakes a bit.

"I wouldn't say we're back. We're on the way to being back. It is a great performance, but you gotta understand what Grambling has been. Grambling has been a program that has gone all over the country," Fobbs said Monday. "We've gone to Japan. We've gone all over the place to play football games. There was a time when our players would go to the White House and visit the President. To say that we're back, we're not back yet, but we sure are showing signs of getting there."

Fobbs' logic is simple: Yes, Grambling has enjoyed success since he took over the program, but the Tigers still have yet to win a championship, something they can achieve this weekend against Alcorn State.

Running back Martez Carter opened the door for the conversation following Saturday's win in New Orleans. Carter was asked about the Tigers' confidence level, and the junior responded a comment about the history of the program.


Bahamas' Jamaal Symonette One Of The Top Offensive Linesmen For NCCU Eagles

Jamaal Symonette
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Jamaal Symonette never played a football game before he left the Bahamas as a teenager. But for the past four years, except one year when he sat out with an injury, he has been one of the top offensive linesmen for the North Carolina Central University Eagles.

Symonette, back in action after sitting out the 2013/14 season, started every game at right tackle for the Eagles this season. On Monday, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) named Symonette to its All-MEAC Football Team as a member of the All-Academic Team and All-MEAC Second Team after posting the team’s second-highest grade of 89 per cent on blocking assignments with 27 pancake blocks.

The 23-year-old son of Geoffrey and Audrey Symonette will be graduating from NCCU on December 10 just before he and the Eagles play in the second annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta December 17 in a game at 12 noon that will be televised on ABC.

“I never really watched football growing up, but somebody just came from Florida and looked at me and told me that I have a good size to play football, but I said I wasn’t interested,” said Symonette, who prides himself as being a grand nephew of the late Timothy Gibson, the 1973 author of the Bahamas national anthem.

“My parents told me that I should give it a chance and it brought me a free education. It allowed me to get a degree and my parents didn’t have to pay a dime.”

After leaving St John’s College in 2010, Symonette enrolled at Miami Beach Senior High School for one year before he transferred to a private school in Hialeah, Florida and then it was on to NCCU where he studied accounting where he earned his degree.


NAIA No. 5 LSUA completes season sweep of Gold Rush

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — Jordin Williams tied his career high of 22 points Tuesday and led LSU-Alexandria to a 77-62 victory against Xavier University of Louisiana in a matchup of ranked NAIA men's basketball teams.
Williams, a junior guard, scored 13 first-half points, including a trey that capped a 9-0 run and gave the fifth-ranked Generals (7-0) an 11-4 lead.

Jalen David, with 16 points, was the lone double-figure scorer for the 25th-ranked Gold Rush (2-5). XULA will play host to Paul Quinn at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Convocation Center.

LSUA swept the two-game season series from the Gold Rush.

The Generals took the lead for good in the second minute and led 39-28 at halftime. Four times in the second half XULA cut the deficit to 10 points, the last time at 47-37 on a Mike Williams basket with 14:56 remaining.

LSUA entered the game with four double-figure scorers for the season — Brandon Moss, Hayward Register, Chris Vickers and Brian Sylvester — and the Gold Rush limited them to a combined 29 points and 11-of-36 from the floor. But Williams was 8-of-12, including 2-of-3 3-pointers, and reserve Gilbert Talbot was 6-of-9 with a season-high 12 points. Moss and Register scored 11 points apiece, and Moss grabbed 10 rebounds in his second double-double of the season.

XULA's scoring behind David was balanced, with seven players finishing with five-or-more points. Hakeem Simon had nine points and seven rebounds, Donovan Armstrong scored seven, and Williams, Leland Alexander and Jerry Gibson produced six points apiece. Gibson, a freshman forward playing in his hometown, made two first-half 3-pointers.

David reached double figures for the sixth time in seven games and led XULA in scoring for the third time.

LSUA outshot XULA 44.1 to 37.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Gold Rush 47-35. XULA had the edge at the line, making 16-of-24 free throws to the Generals' 11-of-15, and committed a season-low 12 turnovers.

XULA lost for the fifth time in six games, with three of the losses against top-10 opponents. LSUA, in its third season as a varsity program, is 59-8 all-time and 28-0 at home.

Paul Quinn, XULA's next opponent, is 0-6 with a 32-game losing streak after falling 91-79 Tuesday at Southern.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Grambling State Tigers' Eric Dooley Named AFCA 2016 Assistant Coach of the Year

WACO, Texas -- The American Football Coaches Association is proud to announce its 2016 Assistant Coach of the Year winners. One assistant coach from the five divisions of college football has been selected for their dedication to their teams and communities. A total of 76 nominees from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA were nominated in 2016.

Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, the winners are selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee.

The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.

The 2016 honorees are as follows:
Football Bowl Subdivision–Dan Brooks, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Tackles, Clemson University
Football Championship Subdivision–Eric Dooley, Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach, Grambling State University
Division II–Mike Aldrich, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Linebackers, Southwest Minnesota State University
Division III–Scott Kirchoff, Quarterbacks Coach, Bethel (Minn.) University
NAIA–Lou Varley, Quarterbacks/Fullbacks Coach, Peru State College

“Once again, five outstanding assistant coaches have been selected for their dedication, not only to their teams, but to their communities,” said Executive Director Todd Berry. “Often times, the head coach receives much of the credit for his team’s success, but any head coach is only as good as his assistants. Much of an assistant coach’s work is done behind the scenes. It is our pleasure to bring it to the forefront.”

The criteria for the award is not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate the award. They will be honored at the AFCA Honors Luncheon, Monday, January 9 at the 2017 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Finalists for 2016

Football Bowl Subdivision
Dan Brooks, Clemson
Burton Burns, Alabama
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma

Football Championship Subdivision
Eric Dooley, Grambling State
Randy Hedberg, North Dakota State
Tim Plough, Northern Arizona
Brian Rock, Holy Cross

Division II
Mike Aldrich, Southwest Minnesota
Taylor Breitzman, South Dakota Mines
Alvin Parker, St. Augustine’s

Division III
Luke Cutkomp, Chicago
Cedric Dawkins, Rowan
Scott Kirchoff, Bethel (Minn.)

Michael Budziszewski, Presentation
Jared Hottle, Dakota State
Lou Varley, Peru State

Assistant Coach of the Year Notes
99 assistant coaches from 77 different schools have been honored by the AFCA since the inception of the award in 1997 ... Bethel (Minn.) (Div. III) joins Campbellsville (NAIA), Carson-Newman (Div. II) and Hampton (FCS) for schools with three winners each ... Clemson joins Air Force, Benedictine (Kan.), Carroll (Mont.), Central (Iowa), Morningside, Mount Union, Northwest Missouri State, Wabash, Washington (Mo.) and Winona State with two winners each.

The Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Dan Brooks, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Tackles, Clemson: Brooks is in his 33rd year as a collegiate coach with the last eight coming at Clemson ... He is a longtime member of the AFCA and has served on AFCA committees for 30 years ... Brooks is very involved with Crosspoint Church and volunteers his time with several different organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, All In Team Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Wounded Warriors and Paralyzed American Veterans ... He also co-host the Picnic in Pittman fundraiser each year which benefits the Friends of the Great Smokey Mountains ... Brooks has produced 30 NFL draft picks, seven NFL first round selections, three All-Americans, 14 All-Conference selections and one Outland Trophy winner ... He has been a big part of Clemson’s resurgence in his eight seasons on staff with the Tigers going 82-25 during that span with six consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins.

Football Championship Subdivision
Eric Dooley, Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach, Grambling State: Dooley has spent 22 years coaching college football, with the last three at Grambling State ... An active member of the AFCA, Dooley serves on the AFCA Registration Committee ... He has volunteered his time at every coaching stop, including serving as a mentor for the Alma J. Brown Boy Scouts, working with high risk students in after school or summer programs, visiting retirement homes, volunteering with the Salvation Army Christmas Drive, Girl Scouts of Baton Rouge, Southern University November Turkey Drive, FCA/CCA field days and various Reading Literacy Fay programs ... Dooley’s offense is one of the best in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, ranking at the top in nearly every statistical category ... He has produced three HBCU All-Americans, a SWAC Offensive MVP and four All-SWAC performers.

Division II
Mike Aldrich, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Linebackers, Southwest Minnesota State: Aldrich has spent 22 years coaching college football, with the last two coming at Southwest Minnesota State ... He is very active with the AFCA, serving as the Division II Assistant Coaches Committee Chairman the past four years, and was a member of the Division II All-America Team Selection Committee for three years while he was the head coach at Augustana (S.D.) ... Aldrich currently oversees Southwest Minnesota State’s involvement in a work-a-thon, which is a community cleanup day for the city of Marshall ... He has worked with a number of organizations in the past, including Habitat for Humanity, Workers on Wheels, Minnesota Adopt-A-Highway and Make-a-Wish ... Aldrich established the Tackle Pink initiative for breast cancer awareness, working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation ... He has helped organize team volunteer activities at a local food bank, Missouri River flood cleanup, tornado cleanup and other non-profit local events ... Aldrich organized and led a trip of 16 players to Norway for a cultural trip to work with Norwegian football players at the grass roots level ... In his first season at Southwest Minnesota State in 2015, he helped lead the Mustangs to an 8-3 record, the program’s best record as a Division II school.

Division III
Scott Kirchoff, Quarterbacks Coach, Bethel (Minn.): Kirchoff has spent 12 years coaching college football, all at Bethel ... He speaks to various groups on the Bethel campus, including freshman students, “Pursuit of Biblical Manhood,” and many discipleship groups ... He volunteers at FCA football camps and speaks at local FCA huddle groups ... Kirchoff led a group Bethel student-athletes on a mission trip to Slovakia, and leads a group of male student-athletes in “Be Resolute,” which disciples and develops men as leaders ... He is an active member of the AFCA and attends and contributes to various coaching clinics throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area ... Kirchoff has coached three of the top six passers in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history, two MIAC Most Valuable Players and has help lead the Royals to five MIAC titles and five trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Lou Varley, Quarterbacks/Fullbacks Coach, Peru State: Varley has spent 43 years as a football coach, 34 of those as a high school coach and the last nine as an assistant at Peru State ... He volunteers his time with the Nebraska City First United Methodist Church media booth, participates in the annual Peru city-wide cleanup day and the Brownville Historical Society cleanup and has been a participant in Relay for Life ... Varley has been an active member of the AFCA since 1988 and has been a member of the Nebraska Coaches Association for 40 years, serving as a sport host for NCA Multi-Sport Clinics ... As a high school coach, Varley led nine of his teams to the Nebraska state playoffs.


Alcorn State preps for SWAC Championship

LORMAN, Mississippi -- Alcorn State coach Fred McNair rested on his laurels during a family Thanksgiving at his mother Lucille’s home.

He ate some turkey, enjoyed his Braves’ victory over Jackson State and yes, he watched the Bayou Classic game between Southern University and Grambling State.

The Tigers stomped the Jaguars 52-30 to finish the regular season unbeaten in SWAC play for the second-straight season.

Or, as McNair said Tuesday, “Grambling gonna Grambling.”

The Braves (5-5) are all too familiar with the Tigers (10-1), who handed them a 43-18 whooping on Sept. 24. Quarterback DeVante Kincaid, an Ole Miss transfer, had a field day, throwing for 400 yards and five touchdowns and running for another score.

McNair and his Eastern Division champs hit the practice field Sunday to prepare for a second shot at the Tigers in the SWAC Championship, set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Houston.


Savannah State football program makes big strides in 2016

SAVANNAH, Georgia -- Erik Raeburn barely had time to process the consequences. Cantrell Frazier scored an overtime, game-winning touchdown against Bethune-Cookman and the Savannah State Tigers began celebrating.

And suddenly, the Tigers baffled first-year coach was wearing the contents of a Gatorade bucket.

“I’m thinking I must be the only coach in America with a 1-2 record getting Gatorade dumped on him,” said Raeburn about the first of three SSU victories this football season.

It doesn’t sound like much, particularly to a former player and assistant coach who began his career at Division III powerhouse Mount Union, but a three-win season represented the number of victories the Tigers had in the previous four seasons combined.

For Savannah State fans, 3-7 wasn’t just Gatorade-bath worthy, it signaled a possible renaissance of a football program for years wallowed in an undercurrent of defeat.

And Raeburn, who had been a part of four national championships and a 54-game winning streak at Mount Union, learned a little something too.


100 Black Men of Atlanta Presents 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl and 100 Uplift Atlanta Gospel Concert to Benefit Project Success

ATLANTA, Georgia -- Since its inception The 100 Black Men of Atlanta has graduated 100% of its students from high school through Project Success; 85% of them go on to earn a four year college degree. Project Success mentors teenagers primarily in the African-American community. The 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl and 100 Uplift Gospel Concert is the primary fundraiser for Project Success.

The 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl is on Saturday, December 17 at Noon at The Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta. The Celebration Bowl is preceded by The 100 Uplift Atlanta Gospel Concert on Friday, December 16 at 7PM at the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, 400 Auburn Avenue, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30312. Ebenezer is the church that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pastored and is the location of his tomb and museum. The 100 Uplift Atlanta Gospel Concert will showcase eight choirs from metro Atlanta and honor eight Pastors for work in ministry. The concert will be taped for TV and air in Atlanta in 1ST quarter 2017. The concert tickets are $40 and include a ticket to the football game on Saturday. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s Project Success.

Other events to occur as a part of The 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl include The 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance Showcase and Invitational sponsored by Georgia Power on Friday December 16th at 7 AM at Atlanta Metropolitan College. They will celebrate the new FIRST LEGO League teams, Student Accomplishments of 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance and Inspirational Community Leaders who have made a tremendous difference in under-served communities. The Leadership Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, December 17 will be held at 8AM at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center.

The 2016 Air Force Celebration Bowl serves as the black college football championship game. The North Carolina Central University Eagles from Durham, North Carolina will represent the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will be the competing team. That winner will be determined on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
The 100 Uplift Atlanta Gospel Concert ticket is $40 and includes a ticket to the football game on Saturday. Concert only tickets can be purchased for $25. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s Project Success. Tickets can be purchased online at

2016 SWAC Football Championship Kickoffs on Saturday

Prudhomme leads SU Jaguars against Paul Quinn

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- The Southern University Men’s Basketball team will look to secure its second win of the season Twhen the Jaguars face Paul Quinn College Tuesday night at the F.G. Clark Activity Center

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Tuesday's game is dubbed Selfie Night with free admission for all kids. At the conclusion of the game, kids will have an opportunity to take a selfie photo with members of the men's basketball team.

The Jaguars are led by senior forward Shawn Prudhomme, who is averaging 18.5 ppg and led the team with 17 points in a 96-63 victory over the Tigers last year. The senior forward currently ranks second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in scoring and three point baskets made after four games in the 2016-2017 season.

“Shawn has come a long ways, as he proved last year he is a very capable scorer, who brings us a lot of energy," Banks said. "He has grown in his time here at Southern and does whatever we ask of him.”

Banks referred him as his go to guy off the bench to give his team a spark offensively and defensively. Prudhomme known as the guy to come in the game to to either guard a big guard or a big man defensively and to knock down big shots on the offensive side of the court.

Prudhomme joins the Jaguars starting rotation along with senior guard Tre’Lun Banks - who is second on the team in scoring 14.0 ppg contest - junior guard Rashad Andrews, junior forward Jared Sam, and redshirt Junior forward Patrick Smith, who is in his first season after transfer from Southern University at Shreveport.

The defending SWAC tournament champions, who only lost one home game last season, look to defend home court Tuesday night before heading to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on the Rattlers of Florida A&M Saturday, Dec. 3rd for a 3 p.m. matinee.

Fans are urged to keep current with the Men's Basketball program by following the Jaguars on Twitter at @JaguarHoops.

For more information on Southern University Athletics log on to for the latest news, scores, and updates. Fans can also access the latest information on SU Athletics through social media by following @SoutherUsports on Twitter and Instagram or liking the Facebook page at Jaguars.

Courtesy: Willie Scott

Early UNCG Surge Hurts N.C. A&T Aggies In Loss

GREENSBORO, North Carolina – UNC Greensboro hit the North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team with an onslaught of full-court pressure, 3-point shooting and fast break layups over the first 12 minutes of Tuesday night’s battle of Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The Aggies eventually steadied themselves but the damage was done in an 86-66 loss to the Spartans. UNCG was able to snap a four-game losing streak to their Division I crosstown rivals with the win. Junior forward Davaris McGowens secured his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 9-for-13 shooting to lead N.C. A&T (1-5). Freshman and Greensboro native Raymon Pratt added 15 points.

“They set up a 1-2-2 full-court press in the first half that really bothered us,” said N.C. A&T coach Jay Joyner. “We had 13 turnovers in that first half, and we only had four in the second. Go into the game one of the keys was taking care of the basketball, and we didn’t do that.”

There was a combination of the things that didn’t go well for the Aggies early. N.C. A&T had seven turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game. In the meantime, the Spartans (5-2) hit eight out of their first 11 shots including four 3-pointers to take a 24-6 lead. The Spartans lead grew to 50-18 at halftime.

“We had six or seven point-blank shots at the rim in that first half and didn’t finish. It was just a tough night for us,” said Joyner. “The guys are bothered by the way we played tonight and rightfully so. But we need to stay positive, weather the storm and continue to get better.”

From the moment the Aggies fell down by 18 early, they played the Spartans evenly. They shot 56.7 percent in the second half after shooting 25.8 percent in the first half. After going just 2-for-11 from the line in the first half, the Aggies were 12-for-14 in the second. “I commend the guys for coming out in the second half and despite being down that many, continuing to fight,” said Joyner.

Francis Alonso finished with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point range, while Diante Baldwin finished with 20 points and 3-for-5 shooting from three. The Spartans knocked down 13 threes on the night. N.C. A&T will hope to use a more productive second half into their next game against a good North Dakota State team that is 5-3 on the season. The Aggies face the Bison 7 p.m., Thursday at Corbett Sports Center.



Hampton Offensive Woes Continue in loss at East Carolina

GREENVILLE, North Carolina – The offensive struggles continued for the Hampton University men's basketball team Tuesday night in the Minges Coliseum, as the Pirates fell 68-48 to East Carolina.

Hampton fell to 1-6 on the season.

Jermaine Marrow had 12 points and five assists to lead the Pirates, despite going 5-for-23 from the floor, while Trevond Barnes added a career-high 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting in the loss. AJ Astroth grabbed a team- and season-high 12 rebounds.

Hampton shot just 28.1 percent (18-for-64) from the floor and went 3-for-22 from 3-point range. The Pirates also struggled at the free throw line, going 9-for-20.

East Carolina scored the game's first seven points, but Hampton responded with a 10-2 run to take a 10-9 lead after Charles Wilson-Fisher sank a layup with 11:19 left in the first half. A Barnes trey at the 9:22 mark expanded the run to 15-5 and gave Hampton a 15-12 lead.

But ECU answered with a 10-4 run, taking a 22-19 lead at the 5:37 mark on a Jeremy Sheppard jumper. Hampton tied the score three times from there, including 26-26 with 3:39 left in the half after Marrow hit a jumper.

ECU ended the half on a 10-2 run to take a 36-28 lead into the half.

Hampton used a 7-2 run to open the second half to cut the lead to 38-35 following a Barnes jumper, before the homestanding Pirates used a 14-6 run to take a 52-41 lead on an Andre Washington dunk. ECU maintained control from there, steadily increasing its lead as the game wound down.

Clarence Williams gave ECU a 64-45 lead with a trey with 2:21 remaining.

Hampton shot just 18.8 percent from the floor in the second half.

ECU (6-2) shot 51.0 percent (25-for-49) from the floor – including a 58.3 percent clip in the second half – while hitting three of 12 3-pointers and 15 of 22 free throws. The Pirates also outrebounded Hampton 44-36.

Tyson led ECU with 17 points.

The Pirates will return to the HU Convocation Center on Saturday to take on William & Mary at 4 p.m. For more information on Hampton University basketball, please call the Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5757, or visit the official Pirates website at



Tennessee State Tripped Up at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, falling by an 83-59 final score on the road at Vanderbilt on Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium. Ken’Darrius Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala.) led TSU’s offense with a career-high 19 points on the night.

TSU (6-1) dug itself an early deficit as Vanderbilt (4-3) built a 21-point halftime edge. For the Tigers, which received votes in the Associated Press Top 25, Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) also turned in a double-digit scoring effort with 12 points.

Hamilton led the TSU offense with seven points in the first seven minutes as the Commodores jumped out to a 17-11 advantage. The Tigers found themselves down by 10, trailing 24-14 with eight minutes to play before halftime.

The Tigers cut the Vanderbilt lead down to seven on a Reddick jumper at 29-22 with just under five minutes to play before halftime.

The Commodores ended the half on a 14-0 run to take a 43-22 halftime lead. Vanderbilt shot 61 percent (14-for-23) from the field in the first half.

The scoring went back and forth in the second half as the Commodores maintained a 20-point lead for most of the final 20 minutes.

TSU forced 19 turnovers in the game, leading to 23 points off turnovers. The Tigers finished 20-for-49 (40.8 percent) from the field, while Vanderbilt finished with 25-for-46 (54.3 percent) shooting.

Vanderbilt was led by 22 points form Matthew Fisher-Davis and 13 from Jeff Roberson.

Next on the schedule, TSU plays at Lipscomb on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. in an ESPN3 broadcast.

GAME NOTES: Tennessee State falls to 0-9 in the all-time series versus Vanderbilt… The Tigers are now 1-36 against teams that currently make up the SEC… Tennessee State received two votes in the most recent Associated Press Top 25… TSU is 5-1 away from home this season.

TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
“Obviously we have to play a lot better. A couple of disappointments tonight, obviously our play on the glass; I thought we would be a little more competitive on the glass. We just have to shake this one off and move on to the next one.”
- On Performance versus Vanderbilt

“The reason we were in foul trouble, was because they were the aggressor. At times the play got a little big for us and sometimes when that happens you can become a little passive and I think that led to some fouls.”
- On Teams Early Foul Trouble

“This is a high level game for us, to come over and play a power-five team who is bigger, stronger, faster and very well coached. This is a really good test for us and tells us who we really are, we are a very good Ohio Valley team and this is a good teaching moment for us.”
- On the Advantages to Playing Vanderbilt

“We needed to pay more attention to detail, which we did a very poor job of tonight. But we have to keep it in perspective. Our biggest fear coming into tonight was their size. And that was the deciding factor. We have never been outrebounded by 19, like it happened tonight. Some of that was size, but some was also the lack of attention to detail. And those are the things we will try to fix, starting tomorrow.”
- On Keys to Team’s Needs




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Delaware State Hornets Post Impressive Win Over St. John's, 79-72

QUEENS, New York -- Despite traveling nearly 5,700 miles for four games in nine days, the Delaware State men’s basketball team found the energy to stun St. John’s 79-72 in a nationally-televised contest (Fox Sports 2) at Carnesecca Arena this evening. The win marked the Hornets’ first –ever against a Big East team and second vs. a major conference opponent in three seasons, rivaling their 72-65 victory over Wake Forest of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Nov. 26, 2014.

Delaware State (2-5) led for nearly 35 minutes in the contest. The Hornets held a 38-34 lead at the half and outscored the Red Storm 41-38 in the final 20 minutes.

DSU took its biggest lead, 63-48, when Devin Morgan hit a three-pointer with 9:56 left to play.

Morgan led all players with a season-high 26 points on nine-of-13 shooting from the field, including three-of-six on three-point shots.

DeVaughn Mallory added a career-high 16 points for the Hornets. Mallory was eight-for-13 from the floor, and tied for the team lead with six rebounds.

Kavon Waller continued his torrid shooting this season, hitting six-of-nine shots from the field and three-of-six on three-point attempts to contribute 15 points to the win.

Waller raised his overall shooting percentage to .564 (31-55) and a MEAC-best .606 on three-point shots (20-33) to rank in the top 10 among all Division I players. He has reached double figures in scoring in six of the Hornets’ seven games this season.

The Hornets shot 64% in the first half (16-25) and 53.3% in the second (16-30) to post a season-high 58.2% shooting percentage for the game.

Ahmed Bashir led four St. John’s players in double-figures with 19 points.

The Red Storm dropped its fifth straight game to fall to 2-5 this season. Chris Mullen, an All-America at St. John’s and a former NBA star, is in his second season as head coach of the Red Storm.

The Hornets return to action on Friday at state rival Delaware. The First State Rivalry contest begins at 7 p.m. at UD’s Carpenter Center.

Delaware State has won its last two road games against the Hens (2012, 2014).


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Bengals add cornerback Tony McRae (North Carolina A&T) back to practice squad

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The Bengals have finally filled the vacant spot on their practice squad, which has been open for weeks following the Patriots signing tight end Matt Lengel to their 53-man roster.

The spot now belongs to rookie cornerback Tony McRae who spent the summer with the Bengals before making the practice squad when it was first constructed. But, McRae didn’t last long on the Bengals’ initial practice squad roster as he was released on September 16, just days after the practice squad was originally formed. His release from the practice squad made room for Trey Hopkins, who remains with the team in that capacity. Hopkins originally made the 53-man roster when the Bengals were dealing with injuries to second year tackles Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi.

McRae was originally signed by the Bengals as a rookie free agent in August (about 10 days after the start of training camp). The former North Carolina A&T product went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft.


Head coach Shawn Walker has planted the seeds for success at Grambling

GRAMBLING, Louisiana -- Grambling State University is a school steeped in history, with its Louisiana roots stretching as far back as the late 1800s. It was founded by a group of African-American farmers who wanted to operate a school in the northern part of the state to educate other African-Americans.

Known for a rich musical and cultural history, highlighted by its World Famed Tiger Marching Band and Grammy-winning alumna Eryka Badu, the university also sports a strong history in athletics. It’s a history highlighted by Eddie Robinson, who retired as the winningest coach in NCAA football history, and Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams.

However in recent years, the Grambling State basketball program has fallen on hard times, with only one season above .500 since 2005 and only one 20-win season in program history, dating back to 1979-80. But much like the farmers who founded Grambling, the school’s current administration has planted the seeds that they hope will help the basketball program finally blossom.

The first step was to hire current head coach Shawn Walker, who had the arduous task of rebuilding the Grambling program in the summer of 2014 amid APR sanctions.

Out of 351 teams in Division I, Walker says, the Tigers may have been the worst.


Virginia State Women’s Basketball Defeats UDC Fire Birds, 55-51

ETTRICK, Virginia -- The Virginia State University Women's Basketball Team defeated the Fire Birds of University of the District of Columbia on November 28, with a 55-51 victory.  The win improved the Trojans to a 5-1 overall record on the season.

"We had to pick up our energy and support each other as a team," shared junior guard Endia McKinney (Norfolk, VA). "It was about making better choices and communicating, that's what we relied on."

McKinney pioneered the Trojans offensively and led the charge defensively with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Taylor Daniels (Hampton, VA) followed up with 11 points and senior guard Nandi Taylor (Mt. Morris, Michigan) rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points.

The Fire Birds were led offensively by Shantrel Oliver who recorded 17 points. NyAsia Anderson followed up with 13 points and led UDC defensively with 13 rebounds.

UDC made a push in the second quarter to erase a 7 point deficit outscoring the Trojans, 15-7, to take a 1 point 24-23 lead into halftime.

In the opening minutes of the third quarter UDC secured their largest lead of the night with VSU trailing by 12.

VSU charged a timeout down 32-23. Shortly after, McKinney put an end to the Trojans scoring drought with her third basket of the night from 3 point range.

Two possessions later, senior guard Joy Hickman (Wilmington, DE) knocked down a shot from behind the arc to cut the UDC lead to 6. Moments later, Daniels went up to score a quick basket, gets the call, and completes the 3 point play to make it a 1 point game.

The Trojans defensive adjustments allowed them to produce offensively, scoring 14 points off of the Fire Birds 16 turnovers. UDC ended the night with only 4 points off of the Trojans 7 turnovers.

VSU worked hard until the final seconds to secure the 55-51 win.

The Trojans shot 28.1 percent (16-57) from the field, 19.4 percent (6-31) from behind the arc, and 70.8 percent (17-24) at the line, while the Fire Birds shot 34 percent (17-50) from the field, 24 percent (6-25) from behind the arc, and 73.3 percent (11-15) at the line.

Traveling to Salem, WV on December 9-10, the Trojans will be taking the court for the Joe Manchin Classic.

VSU is working hard to prepare for the 2017 CIAA Basketball Tournament on February 20-25 in Charlotte. NC.

For more information on VSU Trojans women's basketball, follow Trojans Athletics on Twitter @VSUsports, or call 804-524-5030.



Jackson's 30 Points Propels Undefeated #9 Ranked Virginia Union Over Shepherd, 90-68

RICHMOND, Virginia -- Virginia Union University's Brittany Jackson poured in 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Lady Walker scored 15 points and had 14 rebounds for her fourth double-double, and the Panthers rolled in the third quarter for a 90-68 win over Shepherd on Monday in Barco-Stevens Hall in Richmond, Va.

The Panthers, ranked No. 9 in the WBCA poll, are 4-0 at home and have scored 90 or more points in all but one game this season.

"We don't have Kiana Johnson, but as a team, I think we're a better team this year," said Union coach AnnMarie Gilbert. "A lot more scoring pieces, a lot more people to rebound and slash, and on any given night, it could be a different kid (to lead in scoring)."

The Rams (2-4) shot 52.9 percent from the field and led Virginia Union 19-18 after the first quarter. Union held Shepherd to 4-of-15 shooting and scored 20 themselves in the second quarter for a 38-35 lead at halftime.

The Panthers (5-0) pulled away in the third quarter. They outscored Shepherd 27-10, holding the Rams to 4-of-17 shooting, as they made 11 of their 17 field goal attempts. They took a 20-point lead into the fourth.

"The kids really have pride," Gilbert said. "They were like, 'Coach, we're going to get this thing turned around. It's a little too close,' at halftime."

Gilbert said the team still is trying to find an identity defensively. She would be happy if they can put together four quarters like Monday's third.

"Offensively, 80 to 100 points, that's always within reach, but really getting stops, consecutive stops, we haven't been able to do that, and that was really our focus," Gilbert said.

"Pound the glass, every rebound, get it, outlet it quickly, and let's go the other way. Lady Panther basketball, and I saw it in that third quarter."

Virginia Union outrebounded Shepherd 58-35 in the game. They scored 54 points in the paint and 24 second-chance points.

Their defense and ability to control the boards led to 37 fast-break points, many coming from Jackson.

The 5-9 junior guard plays on the block in Union's 2-3 zone, but is explosive running the floor and can finish through contact. She also knocked down midrange jump shots and hit three 3-pointers.

She was 3 for 3 from the free throw line and grabbed eight rebounds and recorded three assists.

It's her first year at Virginia Union after having played previously for Georgia Tech and ASA College.

"She's been finding her way, but I think this kid is, if not the best guard in the CIAA, she's one of the best," Gilbert said.
Union had the best guard in the CIAA last year in Johnson, who wore No. 3.

This year, if only by coincidence, Jackson is No. 3.
"Three was the only small number available," Gilbert said, "but I think she's going to represent it very well."



Virginia Union's Jay Butler Gets 200th Career Win

RICHMOND, Virginia -- Virginia Union University's Ray Anderson scored 25 points as VUU defeated Clayton State University 71-62 on Monday, November 28, in Morrow, Ga.

The win was Head Coach Jay Butler's 200th career win at the college level. Butler had won 177 games as head coach of the women's basketball team at the University of the District of Columbia from 2003-15.

VUU's Tavon Mealy scored 16 points while teammate James Paige added 14 points.

Virginia Union's John Mitchell pulled down 14 rebounds in the win.

The win raised VUU's record to 5-2 on the season while Clayton State fell to 3-3.

The Panthers now travel to Washington, D.C., to face the University of the District of Columbia at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30.


TV: SEC Network, 8 pm ET: Undefeated Tennessee State Heads to Vanderbilt on Tuesday

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- Off to its first 6-0 start since moving to Division I prior to the 1977-78 season, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team heads across town to battle Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt on Tuesday night. TSU is looking for its first-ever win over Vanderbilt and the program’s second victory over an SEC opponent.

NATIONAL HEADLINES: TSU is receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, released on Monday, Nov. 28. The Tigers also received a vote in the Nov. 21 AP Top 25.

Tuesday, Nov. 29  |  7 p.m. CT
Memorial Gymnasium  |  Nashville, Tenn.
VIDEO: SEC Network Plus – Kevin Ingram and Shan Foster on the Call
TSU RADIO: 102.1 FM The Light – Greg Pogue (PxP) and Albert Dawson (Analysis) on the Call

SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter - @TSU_Tigers |  Instagram - @TSUTigers  |  #BigBlueRising
LAST TIME OUT: Six players scored in double figures led by 18 points for Delano Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) in a 96-64 win over Reinhardt in TSU’s home opener on Nov. 26. Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) registered his second career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, while Jordan Reed (Philadelphia, Pa.) went over 1,000 career points at the Division I level.

ABOUT VANDERBILT: The Commodores are 3-3 in the first year of the Bryce Drew era with early season victories over Belmont, Norfolk State and Santa Clara. Selected sixth in the SEC Preseason Media Poll, Vanderbilt is led by Preseason All-SEC selection Luke Kornet and his 14.3 points per game to go with Matthew Fisher-Davis’ 14.2 points per game. Vanderbilt earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Tennessee State has gone 0-8 versus Vanderbilt in the all-time series, which began on Dec. 8, 1973. The Commodores earned a 78-46 victory over TSU in the last meeting on Nov. 23, 2014 in Head Coach Dana Ford’s first season. Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.), who scored seven points in 37 minutes of action in the 2014 meeting, is the only player on TSU’s current roster who appeared in the game.

VERSUS THE SEC: TSU’s all-time record versus teams currently in the SEC is 1-35. The record includes a loss to South Carolina when the Gamecocks played in the Metro Conference and a loss to Missouri as a member of the Big 12. TSU’s lone win over an SEC opponent was on Nov. 20, 2011 in a 64-63 victory at South Carolina.

UP NEXT: TSU stays in Nashville for another road game at Lipscomb on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m.


ESPN3, 7 pm: UNCG Men's Basketball Hosts Crosstown Rival North Carolina A&T for the Battle of the Boro Tuesday

GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- The UNCG men’s basketball team continues its six-game home stretch Tuesday night as the Spartans host crosstown rival North Carolina A&T for the Battle of the Boro at the Greensboro Coliseum. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3 and the ESPN App with Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak on the call. Additionally, Parker Southern will produce and audio broadcast on TuneIn and online at

The first 1,000 UNCG students will receive a FREE Greensboro t-shirt and local group Citizen Shade will perform at halftime.





UNCG enters Tuesday’s game with a 4-2 overall record and has won three straight games for the first time in non-conference play since 2014-15. The Spartans’ 4-2 record through the first six games of the season is their best start since the 2004-05 campaign when that team opened with a 4-2 record on its way to a 7-2 record through the first nine games. The 2004-05 team finished the year with an 18-12 record, the fifth most wins in program history at the NCAA Division I level. The Spartans’ best finish as an NCAA Division I program came in the 1994-95 season when they opened with a 12-2 record on their way to a program-best 23-6 mark.

UNCG is averaging 66.0 points per game while holding opponents to a league-low 58.0 points per game. The Spartans are shooting 42.8 percent (152-of-355) from the field and 35 percent (55-of-157) from distance through six games. UNCG is also out-rebounding opponents by a 34.5-27.7 margin, including 14.3 offensive rebounds per game.

Six different Spartans are averaging at least 7.0 points per game this season with three Spartans in double figures. Senior guard Diante Baldwin (Greensboro, N.C./High Point Christian) leads the team and ranks 15th in the Southern Conference in scoring at 12.3 points per game. Baldwin ranks fourth on the team on the glass at 4.5 rebounds per game while leading the team with 23 assists and 15 steals. In fact, his 15 steals leads the entire SoCon at 2.5 thefts per game. Sophomore guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) is second on the team in scoring at 11.0 points per game. Alonso has hit 38.5 percent (15-of-39) from 3-point land this year and 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the free throw line.

Junior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) rounds out the Spartans in double figures at 10.5 points per game. Smith leads the team on the glass at 5.8 rebounds per game, including a team-high 17 offensive rebounds. He is also shooting 32.4 percent (12-of-37) from distance. Senior center R.J. White (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) is fourth on the team in scoring at 7.5 points per game while adding 5.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) adds 7.4 points per game while junior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) chips in 7.3 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Tuesday’s game marks the 18th meeting all-time between UNCG and N.C. A&T. Additionally, it is the 15th time the two teams have played at the Greensboro Coliseum, but just the third time since it became the home court of the Spartans. UNCG trails the all-time series by an 11-6 margin to the Aggies. N.C. A&T opened the series by winning the first five meetings from 1990-94 before UNCG posted wins in six out eight meetings from 1995-2002. N.C. A&T has won the last four meetings from 2010-15, including a 77-68 victory at the Corbett Center last year. The Aggies jumped out to a 20-point first half lead (44-24) and held off the Spartans’ second half charge. UNCG connected on just 38.1 percent (24-of-63) from the field while N.C. A&T connected on 55.3 percent (21-of-38) from the field. The Aggies also went to the free throw line 38 times in that victory. Alonso scored a game-high 25 points in the loss, courtesy of seven 3-pointers while White added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Bruce Beckford led the Aggies with 21 points while Sam Hunt chipped in 20 points on the strength of 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point land.

North Carolina A&T enters Tuesday’s game with a 1-4 overall record and has dropped its last four games. The Aggies opened the season with a 67-50 win over Greensboro College before dropping games to East Carolina, Grambling, Western Kentucky and Jacksonville. N.C. A&T is averaging 55.6 points per game while allowing 62.6 points per game ... The Aggies are shooting 42.3 percent (101-of-239) from the field and 27.7 percent (23-of-83) from distance.

Sam Hunt leads the Aggies in scoring at 13.0 points per game. Hunt has hit a team-high nine 3-pointers this year, shooting at a 26.5 percent clip. Davaris McGowens is second on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game. McGowens leads the team on the glass with 7.2 rebounds per game. He has gone to the free throw line a team-high 28 times, hitting at 67.9 percent.

Eliel Gonzalez is third on the team in scoring at 8.3 points per game .Gonzalez leads the team with 14 turnovers. James Whitaker chips in 7.5 points per game while Donte Watson adds 7.0 points per game.


ESPN3, 7 pm: Hampton Pirates hit the road to face East Carolina

GREENVILLE, North Carolina – The Hampton University men's basketball team will end a string of five straight games away from home on Tuesday, taking on the Pirates of East Carolina at 7 p.m. in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

Live Video: ESPN3.
Radio: WHOV 88.1 FM.

The Series: The Pirates are 0-1 against East Carolina, with the only meeting between the two teams coming in the 2003-04 season. East Carolina won that game 77-53 in Greenville, N.C.

Pirates Against the AAC: The Pirates are 3-4 against schools currently in the American Athletic Conference, going 2-0 against Central Florida, 0-1 against Connecticut, 0-1 against East Carolina, 0-1 against South Florida, 0-1 against SMU, and 1-0 against Tulsa. Hampton has never faced Cincinnati, Houston. Memphis, Temple, or Tulane.

Pirates on the Road: In head coach Edward Joyner Jr.'s first seven-plus seasons at the helm, the Pirates are 43-62 on the road, including an 8-7 mark last season. Hampton has won at least eight road games in three of its first seven seasons under Joyner – and in all three of those seasons, the Pirates made the postseason (2011 and 2016 NCAA, 2015 CBI). Hampton's best road mark came in 2010-11, when the Pirates were 8-5 in true road games.

Scouting the Pirates: East Carolina (5-2), in its seventh season under head coach Jeff Lebo, is coming off a 2015-16 season in which it went 12-20 and finished tied for ninth in the American Athletic Conference with a mark of 4-14. The Pirates return two starters and six letterwinners this season, and senior guard Caleb White leads three Pirates in double figures with 16.0 points per game. Sophomore swing man Kentrell Barkley leads the team in rebounding (7.6 rpg), and his 13.1 points per game are third on the team.

Pirates Picked to Finish Third: Despite winning back-to-back MEAC titles, the Pirates were picked to finish third in the conference this season in a poll conducted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. Hampton, which returns just one starter from last season, picked up two first-place votes and racked up 250 points in the poll. Howard was tabbed the preseason favorite, while South Carolina State – which fell to the Pirates in last season's MEAC Tournament championship game – was picked to finish second.

Cooks the Only One: Lawrence Cooks is the lone returning starter for the Pirates, and he comes into 2016-17 as the team's top returner in scoring (7.8 ppg), rebounding (3.7 rpg), assists (47), and steals (19). He is also the only player on this year's team that isn't a freshman, sophomore, or junior – though he does have two MEAC championship rings and NCAA Tournament appearances to his credit. Cooks dropped a career-high 22 points at Winthrop last season, a campaign in which he scored in double figures 11 times. Cooks had 10 points in Hampton's season opener against Rider.

Wilson-Fisher Looking for a Bigger Role: Charles Wilson-Fisher was a key role player in the Pirates' run through the MEAC Tournament in 2015, and he was a key reserve down low for the Pirates last season. 2016-17 could figure to be a breakout season for the Los Angeles native with the graduation of Jervon Pressley, and Wilson-Fisher will be looking to improve on his scoring and rebounding averages (2.7 and 2.5, respectively) this season. He tied his career high in points with 10 last season against Northern Arizona, and this past Friday against Rider, he set new career highs in rebounds (15) and blocks (two).

Strong Start for Marrow: Six games into his collegiate career, freshman Jermaine Marrow leads the Pirates in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game. He opened his career with 13 points against Rider, before dropping 11 points on Nov. 17 in an overtime win over Chowan and then scoring 15 points at Kansas State and dropping 16 at Richmond. He dropped a season-high 25 points this past Saturday against Stony Brook, and Marrow has scored in double figures in five of his first six games. The Heritage High graduate from nearby Newport News, Va. was 4A East State Player of the Year last season, proving to be one of Virginia's best scorers – averaging over 25 points a game in 2015-16.

Astroth Making an Impact: AJ Astroth was key in Hampton's win over Chowan on Nov. 17 – not just because he poured in a season-high 18 points and nine rebounds in just his second game with the program, but because it was his layup in the closing moments that gave the Pirates the lead. Astroth is second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.3 points per game.

For more information on Hampton University basketball, please call the Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5757, or visit the official Pirates website at


Rashad Andrews fighting for spot in Southern's starting lineup

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Tre’lun Banks always knew Rashad Andrews had it in him to be a starter.

Long before Andrews got his chance to start for the Southern men’s basketball team for a few games in the middle of last season, Banks, the Jaguars starting point guard, could tell he had what it takes to join the starting ranks.

So when Southern went on an eight game winning streak beginning the first game Andrews cracked the starting lineup, Banks knew the exact reason.

“We called it before it happened,” Banks said. “We weren’t surprised. Rashad hasn’t started every game or played a lot of starting minutes, but he’s been here just as long as a starter and he knows just as much as a starter. … When we put him in the starting lineup, we don’t lose anything. We add to it.”

Andrews started in 14 games last season before being put back on the bench toward the end of conference play. The Jaguars went 11-3 during that stretch.

Even this year, Andrews came off the bench for the first three games of the season — all Southern losses.


TV: Fox Sports 2, 6:30 pm: St. John’s vs. Delaware State: how to watch, listen, keys to the game

QUEENS, New York -- Home cooking against an opponent that should be beatable will feel good for a St. John’s team that has lost four straight games between the Gavitt Games matchup and the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Red Storm need to take the lessons from the Bahamas tournament and refine their attack, gain some confidence, and put a W on the board after returning with a 2-4 record.

But for the developing team, it’s still early; the freshmen will learn, the sophomores will adjust and the team’s ceiling is still there.

Game Details
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (2-4) vs Delaware State Hornets (1-5)
Where: Carnesecca Arena
When: Tuesday, November 29, 6:30 PM
How to follow: On TV: FS2 (Announcers will be Rich Ackerman and Ron Thompson) and online on FoxSports Go. On radio, 970 AM WNYM (Announcers are John Minko and Brandon Tierney).
Twitter: Follow @rumbleSBN and @StJohnsBBall for updates.

Scouting Delaware State
The Delaware State Hornets play in the MEAC like season-opening opponent Bethune-Cookman. The Hornets have also gotten blown out by Rice, Maryland-Baltimore County and Montana State in their 1-5 season, despite returning a number of starters from last year. (The one win was against non-Division I Clark’s Summit.)

Their interior defense is poor, despite some size on the inside in sophomore starters Demola Onifade and DeVaughn Mallory. The defense seems to play a bit of zone, which can be an equalizer. In a related note, the Hornets lost to Louisiana-Lafayette on the road by one point and competed with Texas Southern - and both of those teams lean on inside scoring. The teams that blew Delaware State out shot from the perimeter to do so.


North Carolina Central Men's Basketball Shocks Mizzou 62-52

The NCCU Eagles defense clamped down on Missouri, holding Tigers to 25 percent shooting for the game. 

COLUMBIA, Missouri — North Carolina Central University came to Columbia "to win a basketball game," said head coach LeVelle Moton.

And it did.

In fact, the Eagles never trailed in the 62-52 win, which brought Missouri's brief winning streak to a screeching halt. The Tigers (3-3) were aiming for their third consecutive win, a feat accomplished just once in Kim Anderson's tenure as head coach. Instead came an uninspired effort from a team with a sour history against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference competition. Missouri fans might remember the team's shocking loss to 15th-seeded Norfolk State in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

"There's really no celebrating," Moton said.

NCCU (4-2) players and coaches were emotional after the school's chancellor, Dr. Debra Saunders-White, died from cancer just two days ago.

"She was the best chancellor on the planet and the best person on the planet," Moton said. "She was probably our biggest cheerleader."


Lafayette Leopards Fall Short in Final Seconds Against Hampton Lady Pirates

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts – Despite putting together a stellar second half performance, the Lafayette women’s basketball team was unable to hold onto a late lead and ultimately fell 58-55 in the closing seconds of a Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge game to Hampton on Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.

The Leopards (1-6) dominated the glass, outrebounding the Lady Pirates 42-31. Olivia Gumbs made her mark, corralling a game-high 10 boards to go along with 10 points for her first collegiate career double-double. The Maroon and White shot the ball at a 38 percent clip, compared to Hamptons’ 31 percent mark. Maia Hood led the Leopards in scoring with 12.

In the opening minutes of the game, Hood knocked down a three from the right corner to knot the game up at five apiece. The Lady Pirates (3-4) took a timeout and responded with an 8-2 run to close out the opening quarter with a 13-7 advantage.

That run would continue into the second quarter, as Hampton came back onto the court and put up four unanswered points before Lafayette scored on a free throw by Gumbs. The Lady Pirates did most of their damage inside the paint early and utilized their speed to get to the rim and score in transition.

Midway through the second quarter, Hampton had a 21-10 lead, with 14 of those points coming from down low. Hampton’s leading scorer, Malia Tate-Defreitas, found success from all areas of the floor, connecting on four of her first seven shots for 11 first half points. The senior closed out her day with a game-high 22 points.

The Leopards struggled to get into many offensive sets due to a bevy of turnovers and the Lady Pirates took advantage of that by scoring 25 of their 58 points off of turnovers.

At the half, the Lady Pirates held the edge in scoring, 28-20.

Lafayette began to gain some momentum though in the latter half of the third quarter. Hood poured in four and following a Ptasinski midrange jumper, the deficit was trimmed to five. The Maroon and White continued to get quality looks at the basket and cut the Hampton lead to one after Stipa made a pair of foul shots in the final minute of the quarter.

To open up the fourth, a Hood jumper recaptured the lead for the Leopards, 36-35. Lafayette then put in back-to-back baskets to cap off an 18-5 run. From that point forward, it turned into a grind-it-out game as both the Leopards and the Lady Pirates went back and forth. It was the most successful quarter of the night for the Leopards, who shot 53 percent in the fourth.

Hampton deployed a full-court pressure and forced three turnovers, which resulted in six points to trim the Leopards’ lead to one. Lafayette eventually figured out how to break the press though and made two easy layups on two consecutive possessions. The Leopards held a three-point advantage before Tate-Defreitas lined up a three from far beyond the arc and buried it to even the score up at 50-50 with just over two minutes to play.

Hampton grabbed the lead on the ensuing possession, but it did not hold for long as Alexis Santarelli brought down an offensive board for the Leopards and put it back in while getting fouled. The freshman made the foul shot, but the Lady Pirates retook the lead on a Jephany Brown layup with less than 30 seconds left to play.

It came down to the final seconds and Hampton led by just one. However, the Leopards failed to get a shot off and were forced to send Tate-Freitas to the foul line, where she sank two to put her team up by three.

Lafayette inbounded the ball with six seconds on the clock and got a look at the basket, but the shot was blocked and Hampton survived late to capture the win.

The Leopards’ four-game road stretch has come to a close and the Maroon and White will return to College Hill for the just the second time this season to square off against Penn on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m.