The Rattlerettes ended their three game losing streak Monday with a 65-52 win over Norfolk State University.
The team celebrated its last home game with a tribute to the two seniors, center Kim Watson and forward Deidra Bateman.
“I just wanted to come out and work hard,” Watson said. She pulled in 27 points and 9 rebounds, barely missing her fifteenth double-double.
In its fight for fourth place, FAMU improved to 13-11 overall and 9-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Refusing to lose another game, the Rattlerettes put on the heat from the tip-off, getting on the board with a lay-up by Watson.
The only setback the team suffered was missing six free throws early in the half. However, shooting 46 percent from the field made up for those errors.
FAMU maintained the lead the entire first half. Pushing the score to 17-12, junior guard Tanise Thomas came off the bench to connect on a three pointer from the corner. The bench provided great support for starters scoring ten points.
Norfolk State (7-17, 6-9 MEAC) made a concerted effort to catch up at the end of the first half going on a 3-0 run to end down 26-21.
Realizing what needed to happen to ensure a win, FAMU emerged from the locker room and kept its dominance on the glass, grabbing 41 rebounds.
“They out-rebounded us by 20 at their place and we weren’t going to let that happen again,” Watson said.
Bateman certainly stepped up her role by leading the team with 11 rebounds.
“I always try to play aggressive and this game I just picked it up.” Bateman said.
Her efforts weren’t enough to hold off the Spartans for long though. FAMU began to miss offensive rebounds and committed eight crucial fouls.
Jumping on FAMU’s problems, the Spartans cut an 11-point deficit by going on an 11-0 run to tie the score at 37.
The team regained its composure on a jumper by junior Yolanda Dixon, which made the score 41-39.
Coming in to the game to relieve Dixon, freshman Charetta Oliver scored the team’s last two points to push the score to 65-52.
FAMU needs only one more win to secure a winning MEAC conference mark. The team has three road games beginning with Coppin State Saturday to finish regular season play.
Dominique Drake can be reached at email@example.com.