The FAMU women’s basketball team lost to South Carolina State 67-59 Monday afternoon despite leading the majority of the game.
Coach Debra Clark said the loss was very disappointing.
“We were leading for most of the game. I felt like we were in control,” she said. “The loss was very disheartening.”
The Lady Rattlers started the first half energized, shooting 53.3 percent from the floor. Three pointers from the team helped extend the lead by 10 points with a score of 38-28 at the break.
Stephanie Foster, 22, a junior from Ohio, explained that after the first half the team’s intensity was up.
“This season in the second half something happens to the team,” said Foster, a broadcast journalism student. “Coach told us not to slack and keep up the good work.”
Early in the second half, the Rattlers extended their lead to 14 points with the help of senior guard Joslyne Jackson, 23.
Jackson said her first half performance was good but she didn’t have a good second.
“I like to have two good quarters,” said the Georgia native. “During the second half I could have drove more and made more free throws. In the first half I did both.”
Jackson also said that instead of relying on her jump shots she should have focused more on taking the ball to the hole. A run by the Bulldogs during the final 17 minutes helped them close the score. Foster said this was when FAMU’s performance began to go downhill.
“Our intensity fell and they progressively came back, but we didn’t respond,” she said. ” We started playing out of desperation.”
South Carolina State’s Sophilia Hipps and Marie Reid helped outscore the Lady Rattlers. Hipps scored 21 of her game-high 24 points in the second half. Reid also accumulated 11 of her 20 points in the final half. With 6:03 left in the game, foul shots by Hipps tied the game at 57-57. A layup by Rattler Evette Young with 5:06 remaining put the Rattlers ahead of the Bulldogs for the last time.
The Bulldogs closed on FAMU with a 10-0 run that left the Lady Rattlers scoreless for the final 4:56 of the game. The Rattlers were never able reclaim their lead as the Bulldogs continued to dominate and eventually won the game.
Foster led the scoring for FAMU with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Evette Young followed with 15 points, Jackson adding 14, and Q’Vaunda Curry had 7 points and 11 rebounds.
Foster said overall her performance was OK but felt she missed a good amount of free throws.
“It’s good to bring in numbers, but I can’t really enjoy scoring a game high because we lost,” she said.
Jackson did not feel good about the loss either.
“This is getting old; it happens every game,” Jackson said. “As a senior, I plan to stay positive and play hard because I want to end things on a positive note.”
The Lady Rattlers will close out the regular season against Bethune-Cookman University Thursday in Gaither Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m.