With only six games remaining and the MEAC tournament approaching, the Lady Rattlers basketball team needed momentum heading down the stretch to finish off the season.
The Saturday game against Morgan State’s Golden Bears came down to the final seconds of the second half, but FAMU did not come out on the winning end. The Lady Rattlers fell to the Lady Bears 55-51 at Gaither Gymnasium.
Stephanie Foster, 20, a forward and guard, said the team could have done better.
“Turnovers and not taking advantage of opportunities is what hurt us,” said Foster, a broadcast journalism student from Ohio.
FAMU came out on a roll against Morgan State in the first half. The Rattlers jumped out to a 21-6 lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Lady Rattlers’ backcourt was a pivotal part in the early success of the Rattlers offense.
Seniors Q’Vaunda Curry and Joslyne Jackson contributed more than half of the team’s first points by combining for 21 of the Lady Rattlers’ 31 first-half points. But late in the first half the Bears went on a 20-4 run to take the lead at 26-25 with 2:52 remaining. Morgan State pushed the lead to 31-28 with seven seconds remaining in the first half.
The Lady Rattlers’ hot hand Joslyne Jackson continued her assault on the Bears as she hit a three pointer as time expired to send the game into the half tied up (31-31).
The second half was played almost exactly as the first half. The game was tight, and both teams continued to fight hard for points. The Lady Bears seemed to have the upper hand as the second half went on; they had an eight point lead with 12:13 remaining in the second half. The Lady Rattlers continued to battle back with a hero in the post.
Junior Thyeis Halley hit a big three, took two charging fouls and completed a three-point play opportunity to bring the Rattlers within two points with 1:03 left in the second half (53-51). The Golden Bears did not get anything out of their possession, so the Lady Rattlers had a chance when Junior Evette Young caught the rebound off a Morgan State miss.
Young brought the ball up the court and Coach Debra Clark told her point guard to call a 30-second timeout after the Lady Rattlers could not get a good look at the start of the possession. The Lady Rattlers huddled for one last play to tie the game and try for overtime. FAMU’s last shot attempt failed after Jackson got a look from the free-throw line on which she thought she was fouled.
The Rattlers had to foul with just seconds remaining. Morgan State sophomore Corin Adams hit two free throws to seal the victory at 55-51. The loss puts the Lady Rattlers one game less than 500 at 11-12(2-9) with six games remaining.
The Lady Rattlers play Coppin State Monday at 5:30 p.m. in Gaither Gymnasium.
With Coppin State coming in at 14-11(8-3), the game Monday looks to be another battle for the Lady Rattlers.