With five games remaining on the schedule before the MEAC Tournament, the Lady Rattler basketball team is focusing on capturing the title, which has become elusive to FAMU (11-13) (2-10) in resent years.
“We’re working on getting better every day,” said senior guard Joslyne Jackson. “We know that our standings right now aren’t in the best position, but we feel we can make a big move in the tournament.”
It’s been 13 years since the last time the Lady Rattlers hoisted the trophy in 1995.
After a strong start but weak season, FAMU is looking to get back on the winning side going into post-season play.
“In these next few games we expect to grow and get better because we want to have momentum going into the tournament,” junior guard and forward Stephanie Foster said.
The Columbus, Ohio native leads the Lady Rattlers in scoring, averaging just more than 14 points a contest and is second on the team in rebounds with six boards a game.
Starter Deidre Jones was sidelined for the year with a broken wrist, which forced head coach Debra Clark to play an eight-man rotation.
“I broke my wrist in the game against Bethune [-Cookman University], but I earned a medical red-shirt and all I can do is encourage them,” Jones said.
Jones was a key component to the offense before she went down for the year averaging 14 points a game, but with experience on their side FAMU players said they still have a chance to win the MEAC and earn a birth to the NCAA Tournament.
“The tournament is a different ball game; everybody goes in with a clean slate and no matter what your regular season record is you have a chance to win it all,” Foster said.
The Lady Rattlers are third from the bottom in the MEAC, winning only two conference games so far this season.
If the tournament were to start today they would face Morgan State University, who has defeated FAMU twice this season.
By winning more conference games, FAMU can improve their seed in the tournament and make the quest for the title easier for a depleted squad.
“We’re in a situation where everybody needs to be at their best because we don’t have many options with eight people,” Clark said.
With 18 turnovers a contest the Lady Rattlers are looking to improve upon taking care of the basketball and executing on offense.
“We have to take care of the basketball and score a lot better; that’s been one of our problems lately, not putting the ball in the basket,” Clark said. “We’ve been doing some shooting and we made some adjustments with our lineup trying to get some more people more shots.”
Of the five games remaining on the schedule for the Lady Rattlers three opponents are well over .500 winning percentage in conference play.
To say FAMU has its work cut out for it is an understatement.