Despite a valiant defensive effort, the Rattlers men’s basketball team couldn’t quite find their offensive stride, dropping a 57-53 decision to Bethune-Cookman.
The Wildcats pulled to within a basket of the Rattlers at 47-45 with just over three minutes left on guard Moses Cage’s three point bomb.
BCC tied up the score at 47 with under two minutes left and took a 54-50 lead down the stretch.
FAMU’s last score came on a three-point play by Tudeme with eight seconds left.
After a time-out by the Wildcats, BCC head coach Cliff Reed emptied his bench, taking out his big men, and putting his best free throw shooters in the game.
It was a strategy that paid off as the Rattlers were forced to foul with only 7 seconds left, sending senior guard Brian Cox to the line. Cox was automatic, knocking down both free throws.
FAMU head coach Michael Gillespie was disappointed with the loss.
“BCC played extremely well. When you shoot 33 percent it’s hard to win,” Gillespie said.
The first half of the game was nip and tuck until FAMU opened up a seven point lead with the score 16-9.
Cox pulled up and drained a three at the 10:46 mark to end BCC’s scoring drought.
Senior forward Sonny Tudeme and center Jermaine Hill opened up the second half with field goals, pulling FAMU within a basket at 27-25. FAMU regained the lead on a three-point bucket by guard Michael Griffith.
Griffith knocked down another three giving FAMU a 34-27 lead, matching its largest lead of the first half.
However, the lead quickly evaporated despite the relentless inside rebounding efforts of t Tudeme and Hill.
The Rattlers brought a three game winning streak into the contest against BCC.
The Rattlers out rebounded the Wildcats 41-34, but couldn’t capitalize on the majority of those boards.
“We just couldn’t knock down our shots,” said Hill, who finished with eight points and 12 rebounds.
Playing in his final regular season game for the Rattlers, Tudeme was disappointed with the bittersweet end of a two-year career at FAMU. Tudeme said he was pleased with his teammate’s defensive effort with the exception of a few series in the game.
“We had a couple of defensive breakdowns. They made a few plays but you can’t even allow a few plays in a close game,” Tudeme said.
BCC head coach Cliff Reed said that FAMU’s defensive intensity initially created problems for them but they simply made the necessary adjustments.
Reed was displeased with a few defensive plays of his club down the stretch.
“Tudeme got a three-point play and he got a soft foul from us. We should have fouled him hard or just left him alone,” Reed said.
Reed said the win against rival FAMU will provide his team with momentum heading into the MEAC tournament.