Stinging the Lady Hornets in all the right places, FAMU stretched its winning streak to six games on Saturday, prevailing over second-place Delaware State 77-68. The ladies are now 12-8 overall and 8-3 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Rattlerettes entered the game ready to play. Four seconds in, junior Yolanda Dixon made the first game basket. Fighting hard for rebounds, senior Deidra Bateman drew a foul on her lay-up to bring the score to 11-8.
However, the momentum slowed as the home team missed shots and committed four turnovers, leading to an 18-6 DSU run.
The Rattlerettes were down 17-26 with 5 minutes in the first half before they began to retaliate.
“We (coaching staff) kept telling the girls, even when you make a mistake try to do something to help the team,” said Head Coach Debra Clark.
With under a minute in the half, Dixon and sophomore Tene Miller sank two 3-pointers to close at 30-27 in favor of DSU.
Returning from the locker room, the Rattlerettes seemed completely transformed.
“We came and played our hearts out,” said senior center Kim Watson. “We really wanted this game because we want to win the MEAC.”
After scoring only six points in the first half, Watson ignited. She achieved her twelfth double-double, scoring 13 rebounds and a season high 32 points.
Still, DSU held the lead.
Striking back, Dixon made a jumper, missed the free throw, got her own rebound and assisted Watson to tie the score at 37.
At 13 minutes and 48 seconds, the Rattlerettes took the lead 40-39 after a 3-point play by Watson. The lead continued to swing between teams.
Delaware State’s numerous fouls put the Rattlerettes in double bonus with 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately, FAMU shot only 35 percent from the line.
Taking matters into her own hands, Miller scored twice from way downtown. She put the Rattlerettes ahead 64-62 with 44 seconds left in the game.
“I stepped it up because I didn’t do what I could have done in the first half,” said Miller.
Still, her efforts fell short.
Freshman Andrea Jones sank a jumper to tie the score at 64 and enter into overtime.
The five-minute overtime sped by as FAMU scored 13 points from free throws and inside shots to defeat the Lady Hornets.
“I was pleased that they stepped up and showed they can play with their backs against the wall,” Clark said.
FAMU needs two more league wins to guarantee a winning conference mark, and three victories for an overall wining record. The Rattlerettes play University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday.
Dominique Drake can be reached aT email@example.com
Dominique Drake can be reached at