Can you feel it? The FAMU Rattlerettes are definitely feeling it after defeating conference foe Howard University 82-72.
The ladies were eager to get this win because they have not beaten the Lady Bison since the 1999 quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament when FAMU won 53-40.
“It was a big step up for us,” said senior center Kim Watson.
Wasting no time to get the action started, junior Yolanda Dixon made a breakaway layup 42 seconds into the game after sophomore Dierdre Tyus stole the ball. “When you give 100 percent effort you get results,” said head coach Debra Clark. Each team then began to falter by committing turnovers and traveling violations.
Post players struggled to get the ball because of the height and intense defense the Lady Bison brought. Guards were pressed to force the ball inside, which resulted in even more turnovers. As a result of FAMU turnovers, Howard scored 22 points.
After letting Howard go on a 12-21 run, the Rattlerettes attempted to play catch-up at the end of the first half. Junior Tene’ Miller sank a three pointer to close the half 34-39.
The same problems that plagued FAMU Saturday against University of Maryland-Eastern Shore occurred Monday night. Howard’s perimeter shooting played a key part in securing their lead. The Lady Bison put up 24 points from behind the arc.
“We fell a little short the other night and we learned from that,” Clark said. The Rattlerettes indeed learned from their mistakes and seemed energized coming out of the locker room for the second half.
Miller went to the hoop seven seconds into the half, to draw a foul and put two points on the board. Then everything started to fall into place. Dixon fired a three from the corner to tie the score at 46, and then put her team ahead with a breakaway steal.
After that, the Lady Bison appeared tired and started to commit reckless fouls.
“We knew that they only played seven or eight people, so we took advantage of that,” commented Watson.
A technical foul gave the Rattlerettes the momentum they needed to push them over the final hump. Though Howard started pressing full court, Dixon and Tyus refused to let them prosper.
The Bison continued to foul, but the Rattlerettes continued to make their free throws. With three seconds left, Miller sank two that solidified the game at 82-72.
This game tied the series at 12-12 and proved to FAMU how skilled they really are.
“It was a good performance, and the last two games let them see they can do it,” said Clark.