Few things are certainties in basketball, unless it’s Howard University playing the Rattlers in Gaither Gym.
Again, the game came down to a last second shot that came from an unlikely source.
Again, the crowd provided a decided home court advantage.
And again, Florida A&M University found a way to win a game in which it was trailing by double digits at one point.
Senior point guard Tony Tate may have won the game for the Rattlers on a dramatic follow-up of a Jonathan Kelly shot with 4.6 seconds to play, but it was an overanxious student who might be remembered more than Tate’s dramatics.
As Bison guard Louis Ford ran up the court following Tate’s rebound, an unidentified student ran onto the court thinking the game was over.
He eventually bumped into Ford at midcout with two seconds remaining.
Officials called a technical foul on FAMU and awarded the Bison with two free throws.
Ford missed the first free throw relegating the Bison to a missed last second heave to win the game.
Jackson, who is in his first-year at Howard, said he would have felt bad for the Rattlers had the game had a different outcome because of an individual fan.
The stoppage of play might have helped the Rattlers.
Especially since Bison head coach Gil Jackson said his plan was to keep the clock running after the Tate basket, even though they had one time-out remaining.
Before security was able to get onto the court, the student ran off back behind the bleachers, but not before passing by the Rattler coaching staff.
“One of the things you get in a celebratory situation, its kind of hard to distinguish how many folks ran onto the field or court.” said Sgt. Norman Rollins, the campus special operations sergeant and the highest ranking on-duty law enforcement officer at the game.
“We’re talking about crowd behavior, again it’s hard to control each individual.”
Rollins said the issue would probably be taken to the campus judiciary affairs office, once the student is identified.
“I’m happy he was at the game, happy he was excited,” said Gillespie. “There’s not a whole lot we could do.
“I think FAMU and Howard have a nice rivalry, its just competitive. I don’t think there is any hostility, we don’t feel any at all,” Jackson said.
“It was a good college atmosphere, it was a good home court advantage.”
Contact Will Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org