In the first of two games in the Farewell to Gaither Gym weekend, the Lady Rattler’s went down to the wire, but came up short against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks on Saturday night.
Draped in pink uniforms as part of the NCAA’s “Think Pink” campaign, the Rattler’s came into the game prepared to avenge their earlier loss against the Hawks.
“We weren’t expecting them to come out as hard because we played them a few weeks ago so we knew their game plan,” said freshman Tameka McKelton.
The Rattlers got off to a slow start, shooting only 30 percent from the field yet they were able to keep the game close going into halftime tied at 29-29.
The second half looked gloomy for the Rattlers as the Hawks hit shot after shot and went ahead 64-50 with about 3 minutes left. The Lady Rattlers never gave up though, turning the defense up a notch and going on a 7-0 run to cut the Hawks’ lead to seven points.
With about 35 seconds left in the final half, senior Diedra Jones was able to come away with a steal and dish it to freshman Tameka McKelton who hit a jumper, which tied the score at 66.
The Rattlers fouled with nine seconds on the clock and the UMES player hit both free throws. Down by two, the Lady Rattlers had possession of the ball and another chance to come away with the win, but a fatal turnover and two more free throws by the Hawks was all that was needed to seal the deal and hand the Rattlers another loss.
“This game was very important because we could have moved into sixth place in the MEAC, but we still have a chance to go out there and win Monday,” McKelton said.
One highlight of the game was Jones scoring her 1,000th point as a Rattler. “It feels good because that was a goal of mine as a freshman,” Jones said.
The Rattlers will play their final home game in Gaither Gym tonight at 5:30 against Delaware State and try to come away with the win.