The Tallahassee Fire Department almost had to come to Gaither Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon because of a fire sparked by the shooting hands of junior guard Terrence Woods.
The blaze began with Woods, who drained his first seven 3-pointers in the first half, and it spread to the rest of the Rattlers as they incinerated Delaware State 97-77.
“Once Woods gets going it’s easier for the whole team to get going, it just passes right on,” said senior guard Michael Griffith, about what happened in Saturday’s blowout.
Anchored by Woods’ 82 percent from the field (9-11) and 80 percent from behind the arc (8-10), the Rattlers shot 59.5 percent from the field and hit 68.8 percent of their 3-point attempts.
“All week at practice I really haven’t been able to shoot well, so fortunately I was able to come out and knock them down today,” Woods said.
He finished with game highs of 34 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
“It would be an understatement to say that he (Woods) played well,” said Head Coach Mike Gillespie.
After the game was tied at 17, the Rattlers went on a 19-2 run as Woods’ canned his fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh 3-pointer, which gave FAMU a 36-19 lead with 6 minutes 34 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Rattlers kept that big lead with only a three-point falter before going into the locker room at the half up 48-34.
“When we came in at halftime we said that we had to keep pounding them while they were down,” said senior center Jermaine Hill, who held down the middle for the Rattlers, scoring 19 points.
“We said don’t give them any confidence, don’t let them comeback and we did that.”
Junior guard Demarcus Wilkins killed the Hornets hopes of a comeback by scoring 11 crucial points in the second half as the Hornets cut the Rattlers lead to 10 points, four times in the second half.
“They shot the ball well and I thought they played better than we did tonight, so they deserved to win the basketball game,” said DSU Head Coach Greg Jackson.
FAMU’s (10-9, 6-5) win snapped DSU’s (9-10, 7-4) four-game winning streak and the Rattlers also exceeded last year’s overall win total of nine.
Tonight the Rattlers face Morris Brown, who they beat 76-65 on Jan. 7 in Atlanta.
Ibram Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.