Florida A&M University’s Women’s basketball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets of their season this past Tuesday when they defeated one of the top-ranked teams in the SEC, the University of Florida.
This is the first win FAMU’s women’s basketball team has had over the Gators since 1986, under then-head coach Mickey Clayton.
The team pulled off another major upset by defeating the University of South Florida, a Big East team. They also suffered losses to both Auburn and Missouri. They recovered from their losses and pulled together one of the biggest wins of the season.
Antonia Bennett, sophomore guard from Lakeland, Fla, said that the win was very important to her personally as well.
“It was a good game for me,” Bennett said. “I went out and played hard, I really wanted to get out there and win.”
And a good game it was, as Bennett finished out the game with twenty-two points and six rebounds, second only to leading scorer Tameka Mckelton, a sophormore guard from Palm Beach, Fla.
Not only was the team accustomed to playing challenging teams outside of the MEAC, but they drew knowledge and experience from each previous game into the next.
“Auburn had played us in the zone and we saw that we struggled in the zone a lot,” Senior guard Deidra Jones said. “We worked on that a lot so we could be prepared, because we figured UF would [do the same].”
The team’s accuracy showed, as they shot fifty-three percent from the floor and the three-point range, while the Gators ended with thirty-seven percent from the field.
Not only did the FAMU’s women’s team out-shoot the Florida Gators, but they dominated in rebounds as well. They caught thirty-six rebounds to the Gators’ thirty-five, ten of which were pulled down by sophomore guard Qiana Donald.
Bennett asserted that their team only improved from their losses, stating that playing teams like Auburn and Missouri helped the team gain confidence in their abilities, even against out-of-conference teams.
“[Our biggest challenge] was getting out there and realizing that we can play with them. Once we realized that, we went out there and played hard.”
Jones stated that one of the most difficult aspects of playing UF was their home-court advantage.
“The atmosphere and going into their gym….[it was like] we were playing against them and the crowd,” Jones said.
With a current four in two record, the team is already looking forward to their upcoming game on Saturday, December 3rd against arch-rival Bethune-Cookman University.
“It’ll definitely be different [playing BCU], they’re a different type of team,” Jones said about their upcoming game against Cookman. “It’s also a rival team, so there’s a lot more riding on this game for us.”