The Florida A&M University men’s basketball team (4-5 overall, 1-0 MEAC) had a sloppy victory Thursday night in Gaither Gymnasium, defeating the Tigers of Edward Waters College, (5-6 overall) 76-61.
Mike Gillespie Sr., head coach for the Rattlers, said he is not pleased with the victory. “We turned the basketball over too many times,” Gillespie said. “I felt we were too careless with the ball. Consequently it made the game a lot closer than it should have been.”
The Rattlers gave up 23 points off of turnovers and 14 second-chance points. In addition, the Rattlers had a total of 22 team fouls.
L.C. Robinson, a junior guard for the Rattlers from Rockford, Ill., said the team’s performance was poor. “We all could have played better as a team including myself,” Robinson said. “As a team, we feel the refs had something to do with it. But all in all they didn’t. If we went out and played how we were supposed to, that shouldn’t have affected how we played.”
The Rattlers began the contest with a 6-0 lead and a dunk by Rome Sanders, a senior center from Chicago.
Robinson dazzled the crowd by hitting a three-pointer, increasing the lead by 12 with 10:07 remaining in the first half.
Jeffrey Wimbush, a junior guard for the Tigers, completed a three-point-play, to cut the FAMU lead to eight.
Bobby Brown, a junior forward for the Tigers, blocked Lamar Twitty, a sophomore guard from Fort Lauderdale, two times in a row which lead to Wimbush drawing the foul and completing both free throw attempts to bring the Tigers within four, with less than four minutes to play.
Brian Greene, a senior from Jacksonville, changed the momentum of the game for the Rattlers by dunking the ball with 3:01 left to play in the half.
With a 36-25 lead going into halftime, the Rattlers never looked back.
The Rattlers had their largest lead in the game with 6:27 left to play and an 18-point cushion.
Edward Waters went into a full-court press with 3:30 left until the end of the game, but could not regain the momentum.
Greene and Darius Glover, a senior guard from Chicago, led all scorers with 17 points each. Glover was 8 for 10 from the field but was 1 for 3 from the free throw line.
Brown had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, with a total of seven blocks to lead the Tigers.
Anthony Mosley, head coach for the Tigers, said the downfall of their game tonight was their fouls. “We fouled them a little too much,” Mosley said. “(The Rattlers) have a very good team. They use their hands and they’re quick and very athletic.”
The Tigers committed a total of 33 team fouls, giving up 23 points to the Rattlers.
Gillespie said their strategy for Saturday’s game is to get better. “We’re going to put the ball inside more, and we’re not going to turn the ball over, and we’re going to defend better,” Gillespie said. “This is all going to begin tomorrow at practice.”
The Rattlers will face Albany State University Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Gaither Gym.