Aggies face tall task in clash with 24th-ranked Bearcats

Nov 18, 2012 - 4:08 PM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The 24th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats play host to the NC A&T Aggies at Fifth Third Arena as part of the 2012 Global Sports Classic.

The Classic will continue on Tuesday with the Bearcats hosting Campbell and the Aggies traveling to Iowa State.

NC A&T got its season off on the right foot with an 83-52 home win over Greensboro College, but as the competition has gotten tougher, the results have gotten worse. The Aggies dropped a 64-55 decision at home to Utah Valley, then went on the road and lost to Wright State, 56-44.

Cincinnati set school records last season for best finish in the Big East Conference regular season standings (tied for fourth), and most league wins (12). While conference play is still more than a month away, the Bearcats have nonetheless gotten off to a strong start with convincing wins at home over Tennessee-Martin (80-57) and Mississippi Valley State (102-60).

The Bearcats have won all three previous meetings in the series with NC A&T, and the most recent encounter took place in 2005 (105-69).

NC A&T has seen its offensive output go down with each passing game. On the road against Wright State on Friday night, the Aggies connected on just 15- of-45 field goal attempts (.333), including a dreadful 4-of-22 from three- point range, and they turned the ball over 17 times. Adrian Powell and Austin Witter were the only two players to scored in double figures with 10 points apiece, although the two combined to shoot just 7-of-23 from the field. Witter also contributed nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Through three games, Lamont Middleton is the team's leading scorer with 14.0 ppg, but he managed just six points against Wright State. No other A&T player averages double figures, but four others put up between 6.7 and 8.7 ppg.

Cincinnati's start to the campaign has been quite the opposite story, as it has made more than 51 percent of its field goal attempts through its first two contests. In the rout of Mississippi Valley State, the Bearcats put up 102 points thanks to going 39-of-70 from the field, including 8-of-18 from three- point range. The game was well out of hand by halftime, meaning 13 different players saw action and 12 of them scored. Leading the way was Sean Kilpatrick, who tallied 20 points and seven rebounds, and he's the team's leading scorer in the early going (17.0 ppg). Kilpatrick's running mates in the backcourt also put up solid games, as JaQuon Parker scored 13 points and Cashmere Wright added 11 points and five rebounds.

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