On Monday night the UNC Greensboro Spartans traveled to their home stadium to take on the North Carolina A&T Aggies at the Greensboro Coliseum. Even though the Greensboro Coliseum is UNCG's home court, this particular game was listed as a road game for the Spartans and a home game for the Aggies.
NC A&T and UNCG are separated by just a few miles in Greensboro. Market St., one of the main thoroughfares of Greensboro forms a border for both schools. UNCG lies just west of downtown Greensboro while NC A&T sits just east of downtown. One can see the downtown skyline from either campus, but the two schools share very different histories.
UNCG was originally an entirely female school (for white residents only) founded in the late 1800's to educate women, primarily to become teachers and nurses. There are many women in North Carolina that are alumnae of the school, and in my conversations with them they still refer to it as the "Women's College." NC Agricultural and Technical State University, on the other hand, was founded around the same time as NC Central University to educate the African-American residents of North Carolina. NC Central's curriculum was modeled after UNC Chapel Hill, intended to educate teachers, lawyers, etc. While NC A&T was modeled after NC State, with the intention of educating people for careers in agriculture, engineering, etc.
It was a strange experience for the players and fans where the home team was playing on a court they never play on and the road team was playing on their home court. Many of the students sitting around me were confused by the arrangement as well. UNCG purchased a large amount of tickets for the game and gave them out to students for free. There were comments about the fact that UNCG was wearing their road uniforms and the court was decorated with A&T logos instead of the usual Spartan paraphernalia.
The biggest aspect that differentiated this from a UNCG home game was the fact that NC A&T brought their marching band to the game instead of their pep band. While UNCG's pep band is filled with talented and technically proficient musicians from the famous UNCG School of Music, the Aggie Marching Band is full of students carrying on the pride and tradition that is a strong part of the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) history. The Aggie Pep Band is worth the price of admission in its own right, but the marching band (even confined to seats and not allowed to move around on a football field) completely steals the show.
As for the game, UNCG scored the first 6 points to take an early lead. The Aggies quickly battled back and jumped out to a double digit lead that they never relinquished, and most of the fans in attendance starting filing out before the under 4:00 timeout. In a cross-town rivalry like this any win is a big win, but winning easily is especially sweet. No matter who the Greensboro Coliseum belongs to, the Aggies certainly made it their home Monday night.
at NORTH CAROLINA A&T 87, NORTH CAROLINA-GREENSBORO 65 11/28/2011
NORTH CAROLINA-GREENSBORO 2-4 (0-0) -- K. Randall 1-11 2-2 4; K. Van Dussen 4-10 3-4 11; T. Simpson 6-15 2-3 17; D. Williams 1-4 4-4 6; A. Brackett 2-5 2-3 6; A. Henry 0-1 0-0 0; N. Paulos 1-9 0-0 3; D. Armstrong 0-2 2-2 2; D. Parker 4-5 0-0 12; T. Hoffer 0-0 1-2 1; E. Bone 0-0 0-0 0; C. Henegar 1-1 0-0 3; B. Cole 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-64 16-20 65.
NORTH CAROLINA A&T 4-3 (0-0) -- A. Witter 4-7 1-1 12; R. Buck 7-9 2-4 16; A. Powell 4-7 0-0 10; N. Simpson 3-7 5-5 13; M. Hill 2-5 1-2 5; J. Underwood 1-3 1-3 4; J. Louisme 3-6 0-0 8; L. Smith 1-2 0-0 2; K. Shephard 4-4 3-4 11; D. Upchurch 3-6 0-0 6; A. Estes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-56 13-19 87.
Three-point goals: UNCG 9-31 (K. Randall 0-4; K. Van Dussen 0-6; C. Henegar 1-1; D. Parker 4-4; T. Simpson 3-8; D. Armstrong 0-1; N. Paulos 1-7), NCAT 10-21 (M. Hill 0-1; N. Simpson 2-6; A. Powell 2-4; A. Witter 3-4; J. Underwood 1-2; J. Louisme 2-4); Rebounds: UNCG 28 (T. Hoffer 5), NCAT 34 (A. Witter 7); Assists: UNCG 9 (K. Randall 5), NCAT 21 (M. Hill 6); Total Fouls -- UNCG 18, NCAT 19; Fouled Out: UNCG-None; NCAT-None.