Rattlers continue to struggle

The Florida A&M University men’s basketball team is halfway through a four-game road trip, and they have yet to pick up a win.

The most recent loss for the Rattlers (5-18 overall, 2-8 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) came on Monday night when they lost to the Coppin State University Eagles 70-44.

The Eagles (6-16 overall, 1-9 in the MEAC) snapped a 13-game losing streak and picked up their first conference win of the season with the victory against the Rattlers on Monday.
FAMU scored only 15 points in the second half against the Eagles, in what was the worst offensive performance by the Rattlers this year.

Junior forward Larry Jackson was the only Rattler to score in double figures with 13 points. The 44 points scored by the Rattlers was the lowest scoring output by FAMU all season, and they shot a season-low 10 percent (2-for-20) from the three-point line.

The last time the Rattlers shot that poorly from three-point range was when they shot 15 percent (3-for-20) against the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, who is ironically the Rattlers’ next opponent.

FAMU has lived, and died, by the three-ball all year, and when they have shot well from beyond the arc, they have had a much better chance at victory.

This is a tough stretch for the Rattlers, particularly for senior guard Brandon Bryant (the only senior on the team), and time is running out as the season draws to an end. Bryant believes that it is imperative that he and his teammates don’t dwell on the loss, and just move forward.

“We can’t let it soak in,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to get right back to work.”

The Rattlers are on a three-game losing streak, and they have lost four of their last five games. FAMU has only one win on the road this season, and they have two away games left to play before the team returns to the Al Lawson Center on the 20th.

FAMU has played all the schools in the MEAC, and now they will begin playing schools for the second time, which should be beneficial for the Rattlers. The rematch against the Hawks will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The Hawks (7-16 overall, 5-5 in the MEAC) beat the Rattlers the last time these two teams met with a 51-67 victory on Jan. 16.

Freshman forward Amin Stevens, led the Rattlers in scoring with 12 points off of the bench in the first meeting between these two teams.

Rattlers head coach Eugene Harris said his team can still rebound from the loss on Monday. He added that his team has strived to improve since the loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore in January.

“Every game is important to us,” Harris said. “Every time we come out on the basketball court we try to improve as a team.”

The clock is ticking for the Rattlers and they need to act promptly if they’re going to try to salvage any of this season.