The Lady Rattlers like to “Jump, Jump.”
Or at least it seemed like it Monday night as FAMU lit up the floor with jumpers from all around. Shooting from the elbow, the free throw line, inside the key, wherever it was it didn’t matter.
Though the final field goal percentages were not as impressive as the game seemed, FAMU improved to 13-7 overall and 9-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference by defeating Morgan State University 72-61.
“I was pleased with the outcome,” head coach Debra Clark said. “I know we didn’t play at our best, but we were fortunate to make the shots when we needed to and so the final outcome is what’s important.”
Coming into the game, the Lady Rattlers were aiming to build up momentum and confidence before embarking on a four-game road trip next weekend.
Clouttia Young, a junior forward from Maple Heights, Ohio led the team in the early minutes. Three minutes into the game she made her first jumper from the free throw line and followed it up with a shot from the elbow to make the score 15-9.
However, in between the good jump shots, FAMU missed many key layups that led to the 42 field goal percentage in the first half.
“There’s no excuse for missing layups,” junior guard Elana Greene said. “I think they (MSU) played better than the first time we played them and we didn’t really expect them to have improved, but there’s still no excuse.”
The missed layups did not affect the team’s success. Going into halftime, the ladies were ahead 39-24.
Senior guard Yolanda Dixon began second-half action with a base-line layup assisted by junior TenÃ© Miller. Guiding her team down the road to victory, Dixon finished with 18 points, three assists and four steals.
A complete team effort pushed the Lady Rattler’s lead to as much as 17 points, 56-39, with 11:04 left on the clock.
However, the Lady Bears refused to give up hope. They continued to answer each Rattler basket with one of their own to keep the game within reach. In fact, MSU narrowed the lead to seven points, 68-61, after Sharonda Watson sank a three pointer with 1:39 remaining in regulation play.
“We should have beaten them by a whole lot more,” Dixon said. “Our defense was definitely lacking and we just weren’t fully into it tonight.”
FAMU secured the win with a layup by junior Ariel Towns and two free throws from Miller.
As in their last game, four Lady Rattlers scored in double figures. In addition to Dixon’s 18 points, Quidara Russell contributed 14 points, Towns had 13 points, while Greene added10 points of her own.
Their next game is Saturday at Hampton. Currently the game is scheduled for 2 p.m. but because it will be televised on MBC, the game time is expected to rescheduled to 1 p.m.
“It’s going to be a tough trip,” Dixon said. “Hampton is always tough to beat at home.”
Contact Dominique Drake at email@example.com.