Aggies’ Comeback Effort Falls Short In Loss to Catamounts
N.C. A&T overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to send Saturday’s game into overtime.
**********Kameron Langley(Southwest Guilford HS) turned in a career performance with 20 points, a new career-high 16 assists and nine rebounds. His previous career-high was 15 against Howard in the first round of last year’s MEAC Tournament.
He is now just seven assists away from the 700-mark becoming one of only 82 players to ever reach the milestone as a Division I player.**********
EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T’s Kwe Parker returned to the lineup on Saturday, but the Aggies were still missing some key components as they dropped a 104-98 overtime thriller to Western Carolina in men’s basketball non-conference action at Corbett Sports Center.
“I feel like the guys fought tonight – short-handed but resilient,” said N.C. A&T coach Will Jones. “We just have to keep teaching the new guys and the young guys.”
In his return after missing the Aggies first eight games, Parker finished with 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. Parker averaged 8.7 points per game in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play a year ago.
Despite Parker’s return, the Aggies had to play without senior guard Tyler Maye and sophomore guard Fred Cleveland, Jr.
Even with those two sharpshooters out of the lineup, the Aggies overcame a 14-point second-half deficit.
With 5:33 remaining, the Aggies (2-7) were within 11 of the Catamounts (6-1) at 84-73. A Webster Filmore 3-point play got the Aggies to within eight before a Parker three shrunk the Catamounts lead to five. The Aggies completed an 8-0 run when senior Kameron Langley found Quentin Jones on the break for a layup.
After the Catamounts pushed the lead back to five, free throws helped the Aggies pull to within three before back-to-back Langley free throws tied the game at 87. The two teams traded free throws to go into overtime tied at 88.
In overtime, N.C. A&T took the lead, 90-89, after a layup from Langley. Langley turned in a career performance with 20 points, a new career-high 16 assists and nine rebounds. His previous career-high was 15 against Howard in the first round of last year’s MEAC Tournament.
He is now just seven assists away from the 700-mark becoming one of only 82 players to ever reach the milestone as a Division I player.
WCU responded to Langley’s layup with a 3-point play from sophomore wing Tyler Harris to claim a two-point advantage. The Aggies tied it up one final time after a Quentin Jones layup, but the Catamounts ended the game on a 13-7 run to claim the win.
The biggest blow came when senior guard Marcus Thomas shot into the lane off a WCU missed free throw, snatched the rebound, and converted a second-chance bucket with 39 seconds left to make it a two-possession game at 101-96.
WCU had three different players score 20-plus points, led by senior guard Matt Halvorsen who had 23 points on 7-for-9 shooting from 3-point range. Sophomore forward Xavier Cork had 22 points and senior guard Mason Faulkner had 20.
The Catamounts led 15-12 with 13:43 remaining in the first half before the Aggies fired off a 10-4 run over the next 2 ½ minutes to take a 22-19 lead. The Aggies then went cold and at a time when it appeared WCU could not miss.
The Catamounts went on a 27-6 run highlighted by eight points and held the Aggies to just 2-for-9 shooting. N.C. A&T trailed by as many as 20 in the first half. A couple of 3-pointers from senior guard Kwe Parker narrowed the deficit to 12, 48-36, at halftime.
Quentin Jones had 21 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to aid in the Aggies comeback. He shot 11-for-19 from the field for the game.
The Aggies hit the road for a battle with East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.