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Lancers lose 52-41 in defensive slugfest

Seventeen points from Devin Haygood and a 16-4 run over the game’s final five minutes, 45 second put North Carolina A&T State University over the top in a defensive battle against Longwood University’s men’s basketball team Wednesday evening at Corbett Sports Center, a Longwood Athletics press release noted.

Officials cited in the release that with points hard to come by on both ends of the floor throughout the 40-minute slugfest, Haygood sparked North Carolina A&T’s end-game rally with a go-ahead jumper that erased Longwood’s 37-36 lead and sent the Aggies (3-6) into their most efficient offensive spurt of the night.

After shooting just 36.6% (14-of-41) from the floor through the first 34 minutes of the game against Longwood’s Big South-leading defense, North Carolina A&T hit 5-of-8 shots during the game-winning run, the release stated.

The Aggies’ leading scorer, Ronald Jackson, and guard Kameron Langley broke the game open during that stretch with back-to-back three-point possessions, the release highlighted. Jackson hit his first three-pointer of the night to extend the lead to 43-37 with 3:06 to play, and Langley followed with a three-point play on the next possession to keep the lead at two possessions.

North Carolina A&T’s final rally punctuated a barnburner in which Longwood took a 27-24 lead into halftime and didn’t trail until Andre Jackson’s free throw put the Aggies up 36-35 with 6:24 to play, officials said in the release. The 24 points were the fewest the Lancers have allowed to a Division I opponent in a half this season, trailing only the 22 Maryland Eastern Shore scored in the opening frame of an 85-55 Longwood win on Nov. 12.

However, North Carolina A&T flipped the tables in the second half and quieted the Lancer offense, holding Longwood without points on consecutive possessions for more than 18 minutes, the release continued. After Longwood took the lead with an 8-0 run early in the first half, the Lancers were unable to string together more than three straight points after halftime in the face of a revived Aggie defense that held them to just 5-of-27 shooting from the floor after the break.

“We just have to get better every day,” Longwood points guard Juan Munoz said in the release. “We take this game, we’ll watch film, get better and compete tomorrow. That’s the only thing we can do. Obviously this is a tough loss, but each game has a lesson so hopefully this one opens up our eyes to what we need to do.”

The Lancers (4-5) visit Morgan State University on Saturday, Dec. 7, with tipoff set for 2 p.m.