On Saturday the Florida A&M Lady Rattlers took on the Lady Hawks from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Lady Rattlers fell short with a final score of 60-50.
The Lady Rattlers took control during the first half of the game and led at the half 26-20. In the second half, the UMES Lady Hawks came out strong and began scoring on all cylinders.
The Lady Hawks quickly took control of the game and never looked back. UMES put on a shooting clinic, going on a 14-point run to start the quarter.
UMES’ leading scorer was sophomore guard/forward Tiffany Reid, who came out with three 3-pointers to start the second half of play.
Sophomore forward April McBride also added 10 points to the UMES score. The Lady Rattlers were led by senior guard/forward Stephanie Foster who scored 14 points, and junior guard Taniyah Dawson made many key plays for the Lady Rattlers. Dawson ended the game with 11 points.
The Lady Rattlers are ninth in the MEAC. They are 9-8 overall this season and 1-5 in the MEAC. The Lady Rattlers are on an eight-game losing streak and hope to break the losing streak on Monday as they prepare to face Delaware State University (8-10 overall, 3-1 in the MEAC) in Gaither Gym.
“We made mistakes that we shouldn’t have made,” Foster said. “I feel that being home would have been a great way to start our momentum, but unfortunately we lost so we have to pick it back up.”
Niki Washington, the assistant women’s basketball coach, agreed with Foster. She said the team is in a slump.
“We’re not discouraged,” Washington said. “We know the caliber of our team and we won’t be down long. We are digging ourselves out of a hole.”
Many proud alumni were there to show support including Rosa Hudgins Miller, a FAMU 1985 graduate and member of the University’s Sports Hall of Fame. Miller acknowledged and presented an award at the half by President James Ammons.
FAMU’s seventh President Walter Smith was also in attendance. Smith said he was pleased with the attendance of the game and also to see the spirit of FAMU.
“Sometimes you win, even when the score says you lost,” Smith said. “But the win was the spirit of the fans and the atmosphere here in the Gaither Center, and it feels good to be back.”
Although the Lady Rattlers fell short, the crowd made the environment at Gaither Gym cheerful, especially in the second half. Fans chanted and cheered for support. Also there was a free pizza giveaway at halftime from the FAMU Boosters for the most spirited section of fans. The fans where entertained by the Marching 100 pep squad and the sounds from DJ KD.
“The attendance was great,” Washington said. “It was a great basketball homecoming. I think the fans know what we’re made of. They’re sticking in there with us.”