Florida A&M’s 66-63 loss to the Delaware State University Hornets on Monday prevented the Rattlers from establishing back-to-back wins in league play for the first time this season.
Florida A&M tried to carry the momentum from its 80-71 win on Saturday against the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (8-18 overall, 6-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) when the men’s team took on the Hornets (14-9 overall, 9-3 in the MEAC).
The Rattlers (6-19 overall, 3-9 in the MEAC) will return to the Al Lawson Center this weekend with a loss, but more importantly, the team wants to return with pride as they play some of their final home games and close the season out.
Despite the loss on Monday, junior guard Rasheem Jenkins said the Rattlers still have plenty to play for, and just because their record may show otherwise, he said that this season has not been a failure and there is still some ball left to play.
“When we come back home we need to be ourselves and play for ourselves because we have pride,” Jenkins said. “We just need to make sure we give it all we got during these last couple of home games.”
The Rattlers still have plenty to play for, even though the bulk of the season has passed and there are only three home games left on the schedule.
The three-point loss from Monday night came against one of the best teams in the conference and it showed the Rattlers that they can compete in the MEAC, which is not a surprise to Jenkins at all.
“We have a good team, I know that,” Jenkins said. “Don’t let our record fool you.”
The Hornets are in second place in the MEAC and they are a game and a half behind the Morgan State Bears (19-8 overall, 10-1 in the MEAC) in the conference standings. The Hornets and the Bears are two of the four teams in the MEAC with more than ten wins overall this year.
If the Rattlers can apply the same effort from the Monday night loss to the opponents on the remainder of their schedule, more victories may be within the team’s grasp.
The Rattlers will face a favorable foe when the play the Howard University Bison (7-20 overall, 6-6 in the MEAC) in their next home game. Florida A&M beat Howard 72-65 on Jan. 13, in Washington, D.C.
The Rattlers and the Bison both have not had much success since their first match-up and the Bison will be just as eager for a win as the Rattlers on Saturday.
Both teams have won two games since the first contest, but Howard has a slight edge over the Rattlers.
They have won more conference games, even though they only have one more overall win than the Rattlers.
The match-up against the Bison will be at the Al Lawson Center Saturday at 7:30 p.m. This is also the Rattlers’ first home game since the nationally televised contest against South Carolina State.