Albany State nearly pulled off a remarkable second half comeback against the Lady Rattler basketball team Wednesday at Gaither Gym.
FAMU (3-0) (0-0) nearly blew a 22 point second half lead in defeating the Lady Rams 76-73 for their third consecutive victory of the 2007 season.
Head Coach Debra Clark missed the game due to thyroid surgery forcing her husband John C lark and assistant Niki Washington to take over in her absence.
The Lady Rattlers used the inspiration from coach Clark’s absence to upend Albany State.
“We definitely wanted to get this win for her and coach Washington and coach John stepped up and did a good job in filling in for her,” said junior guard Deidra Jones.
Georgia natives Jones and Joslyne Jackson each scored 13 points for the Lady Rattlers using their explosiveness with the ball to side step defenders on the way to the hoop.
Senior guard Q’Vaunda Curry led FAMU with 15 points off the bench adding a change of pace to the offense.
Junior point guard Taniyah Dawson had a game high seven steals leading the defense in holding Albany State to shooting just 38 percent from the field.
“Tonight they were careless with the ball and I took advantage of it,” said Dawson.
Even though the Lady Rattlers are off to a 3-0 start they are unhappy with the breakdown of the second half that almost costing them the game.
“We lost focus of the game and let them dictate the what was happening which we can’t do, ” Jackson said. “When we have an opponent down by over 20 points we have to learn to put them away.”
With just under three minutes remaining and leading by 12 Albany State continued a full court press as the Lady Rattlers struggled to get the ball over half court to set up the offense.
The Lady Rams were able to figure out the FAMU press breaker as they created turnovers which helped them close the Lady Rattler lead.
After failing to score a single point in the first half Albany State forward Nikia Trice carried the Lady Ram offense scoring 18-second half points.
“That’s the first time we faced a man to man press like that and we haven’t worked on it in practice,” said Jones.
A 19-7 run with four minutes remaining drew the Lady Rattler lead to one.
With 16 seconds remaining Deidre Jones nailed a jumper to bring the FAMU lead to three.
Albany State guard Nafeesha Frost attempted a desperation game tying three pointer, as time expired nowhere near the mark giving FAMU the win.