After Monday’s 68-61 victory over the Howard Lady Bison, the Lady Rattlers feel they have secured their seat in the MEAC tournament.
“(The game) puts up in a better place for the tournament,” said senior forward Ariel Towns.
“We were in seventh place, and now we are continuously moving up in the MEAC.”
Despite FAMU’s poor shooting, the Lady Rattlers (7-11; 5-5 MEAC) shot 32.4 percent for the game, they managed to get 23 second chance points, largely due to Ariel Towns’ efforts.
The game against Howard began with the Lady Bison winning the opening tip, but the Lady Rattlers put the first two points on the board; off an offensive rebound by Towns.
The Lady Rattlers played excellent defense, allowing the Lady Bison to make only 33 percent of their shots, and dominated in rebounding, winning that battle 60-48.
Thanks to Towns, who had five offense and defense rebounds, totaling in 10 rebounds in the first half, out rebounding every player on the court as she finished with 17 rebounds for the game.
“Rebounding helps out more offensively and makes it easier for stopping the other team,” said Towns.
Shooting also played a major role in FAMU’s victory over Howard, with Quidara Russell, a senior center, led all scorers totaling 26 points.
Towns came in second for the game’s scoring high with 24. Seniors Charon Williams and Tene’` Miller added six and five points respectively.
“I am being more aggressive on the court,” said Miller.
“I have to work harder to get to the basket. My coaches told nobody can stop me, so I will work from there and do better.”
In the first half, Howard was leading by as many as 11 points, before ending the half leading by six, with the score 27-21.
Senior guard Daisha Hicks, the MEAC’s leading scorer at 17.9 points per game, led the Lady Bison with seven points, making 50 percent of her shots.
Despite leading in points the first half, Howard attained ten team fouls; twice the amount FAMU committed.
Free throws helped the Lady Rattlers stay in the game, as the Lady Rattlers made seven of their 15 attempts by Towns, Russell, Miller and senior guard Dierdre Tyus, compared to only four attempts by the Lady Bison.
The second half consisted of eight lead changes, with back and forth scoring. The first of six tie scores started as early as four minutes in the half with the score tied at 29.
Two minutes later the score was tied a second time a 31-31, the final tie of the game came with six minutes remaining when a Towns layup tied the score at 45.
But toward the end of the second half the back and forth pace of the game and Howard’s full court pressure defense proved exhausting for some FAMU players.
“We picked up the press to slow down (Howard) towards the end of the game,” said FAMU Head Coach Debra Clark.
Howard still dominated in the foul department with three team fouls within the first three minutes of the second half.
The Lady Bison’s domination in the foul department resulted in five players having four or more fouls, as the team went on to commit 27 for the game.
FAMU made the most of their opportunity at the foul line, after making 46.7 percent of its free throws in the first half, the team made 14 of its 17 free throws (82 percent) for an overall finish of 65.6 percent from the charity stripe.
The Lady Bison had roughly the same free throw percentage as the Lady Rattlers, at 58.3 percent, but made 20 fewer trips to the line.
“All is good in a big win where all the players work hard.
The last few games that we played that were close like this we haven’t done to well, so it is good; we are playing a lot better,” Clark said.
“This game will give us the momentum to play Norfolk State Saturday.”
Contact Tenikca D. Morning and Katrelle Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.