The Lady Rattlers could have made things a lot easier for themselves.
In their 53-57 loss to the Hornets of Delaware State University, the Lady Rattlers turned the ball over 24 times, giving the Hornets numerous opportunities to keep the game close and eventually take home a victory.
A myriad of ill-advised passes and traveling violations disallowed FAMU to create any momentum down the stretch.”When you have 24 turnovers to nine, and they score 12 points of those turnovers, it’s tough to beat,” Clark said.
Despite shooting a woeful 28.9 percent in the first half of play, the Lady Hornets were able to take a 26-24 lead at halftime after turning 16 FAMU turnovers into 12 points.
“Coach told us to keep the pressure up and not let them get comfortable on their own court,” said junior forward Raquel Collier, who posted 15 points for the Lady Hornets on 6 for 13 shooting.
The second half didn’t start off much better, as freshman guard Marke Freeman was called for one of the team’s numerous traveling violations.
In her first start of the season, Freeman finished the game with 11 points and four assists and had a team high of four turnovers. Clark said Freeman had a strong outing, but suffered from a lack of experience.
“She did OK,” Clark said. “She made some turnovers she normally doesn’t make. But that is a part of being a freshman.” The Lady Hornets often employed a pressure defense against the Lady Rattlers backcourt. The Lady Rattler guards were visibly frustrated as they chipped in 16 of the Lady Rattlers’ 24 turnovers. Clark said the team as a whole did a poor job taking care of the ball.
“They were all in on it,” Clark said. “It was a total team thing. We are just gong to have to settle in as a group and refocus.” Not only were the miscues plentiful in the game, they also came at crucial moments in the game.
Late in the second half, with the Lady Rattlers trailing by just three points, guard Taniyah Dawson dribbled the ball high off of her own foot, which led to a steal by the Hornets, who converted the turnover into a layup on the other end of the floor.
Unforced errors, like the errant outlet pass by freshman Secrett Anderson with a little more than 42 seconds left, and the jump ball that arrived from an ill-advised move from Freeman with the score 53-48 late in the game, capped an evening of poor ball control for the Rattlers.
“It puts a sour taste in my mouth knowing all we had to do was take care of the ball,” said junior business administration student Q’Vaunda Curry.
Curry said the Lady Rattlers did more to give the game away than Delaware State did to win it.
“FAMU beat FAMU today,” Curry said.
Curry said the loss will be hard to swallow in the coming days.