Miscues on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball attributed to the Florida A&M women’s basketball team’s 49-48 home court loss to the Howard University Lady Bison Saturday night.
This defeat also came with another setback, as guard Christian Rateree went down with an injury.
The Lady Rattlers shot little more than 30 percent from the field, allowing the Lady Bison to score 12 second-chance points.
“Our lack of focus lost the game for us tonight,” coach LeDawn Gibson said. “I’ve been saying since day one, if [the] team doesn’t get disciplined and play within themselves, we’ll blow the whole season away.”
Injury also played a role in the loss to Howard University, as Rateree went down with a knee injury with a little more than 11 minutes left in the first half. Rateree returned late in the second half, but her playing time was limited.
Earlier in the season, Rateree suffered a bruised knee against Norfolk State University after colliding with another player.
“She said she felt something pop in her knee,” Gibson said. “That was like her fourth game back and we really missed her presence on the court.”
Rateree injured herself when she planted on her knee in a game and played despite swelling.
“I doubled down on it and I felt a strain through my whole leg,” Rateree said. “I wrapped it up really tight to continue playing, but it still was swollen.”
Coach Gibson also said that her team should have tried to attack the basket more instead of settling for many contested jump shots down the stretch.
“We were settling for jump shots and not actually attacking and doing what we do best,” said Gibson. “We let them take us away from our game.”
This loss was nearly a replica of the Lady Rattlers loss against the Hampton University Lady Pirates early in January, as the Lady Rattlers connected on just 28 percent of their shots.
They were also out rebounded by Hampton, allowing them several second-chance opportunities similar to Saturday’s contest.
As the Lady Rattlers prepare for their next game, one of their main concerns is having more focus and playing with more determination.
Forward Antonia Bennett said that the amount of focus that the team has going into the next game is going to be a crucial asset to their success.
“We’ve got to play more focused in the next game,” Bennett said. “Howard didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.”
The Lady Rattlers will seek revenge on the Lady Pirates as they tip off against Hampton University in the Al Lawson Center at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.