Aggies Advance to MEAC Semifinals
Langley breaks MEAC assists record.
NORFOLK, Va. – The North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) semifinals for the third straight season by defeating the Howard Bison, 86-77, in the second round of the MEAC Basketball Championship Tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
“I thought the guys came out and really competed,” said acting head coach Willie Jones, the MEAC Coach of the Year. “We take the one-game approach and it’s always good to have all-conference guys like Ron (Jackson) and Kam (Langley).”
Langley(Southwest Guilford High School) had a new career-high and single-game tournament record 15 assists in the game and with under 15 minutes to play in the first half, passed Larry Yarbray (Coppin State, 1988-92) to become the conference’s all-time assist leader. He now has 632 career dimes with the rest of the postseason this year and all of his senior year left to play.
“It means a lot,” said Langley of the record. “A lot of great point guards have come through the MEAC and so I’m just blessed and honored to be at the top of that list.”
Jackson turned in his 15th double-double of the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds while Tyler Maye poured in 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Maye has scored 42 points since stepping into the starting lineup for an injured Kwe Parker over the past two games.
The Aggies (17-15, 13-4 MEAC) have guaranteed themselves their third straight winning season. They have not had three straight winning seasons in 32 years.
N.C. A&T was neck-and-neck with the Bison (5-29, 2-16 MEAC) for the first several minutes of the game. Trailing 19-18 with just over eight minutes to play in the first half, A&T rifled off a 13-0 run over the next few minutes to claim a 31-19 advantage and turn that into a 39-27 halftime lead.
In the second half, Howard came roaring back and cut the deficit to four, 42-38, after a Charles Williams jumper. Williams, the MEAC’s all-time leading scorer, led the Bison with 18 points alongside freshman Wayne Bristol, Jr. who also had 18 points.
Thanks to some hot shooting from freshman Fred Cleveland, Jr., however, the Aggies were able to pull away down the stretch. Cleveland, Jr. shot 5-for-8 from the field in his 13-point effort including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
The No. 2 Aggies will have Thursday off and play the winner of the Norfolk State/Coppin State game on Friday, March 13th at 8 p.m. in the semifinals inside Norfolk Scope Arena.