The Florida A&M men’s basketball team has one game left before the conference tournament begins. The 91-65 loss to the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Monday gives the Rattlers an overall record of 8-21, and they are 4-11 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs (16-12 overall, 10-6 in the MEAC) scored 46 points in the second half while holding the Rattlers to 25 points. South Carolina Sate pulled away from Florida A&M by compiling to runs of 13-0 and 10-3 in the second half.
Senior guard Jason Flagler is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, and he poured in a season-high 26 points in the win over the Rattlers. Flagler is the fifth leading scorer in the MEAC averaging 14.9 points per contest.
Junior guard Rasheem Jenkins said the Bulldogs were capitalizing and getting good looks at the basket in the second half.
He said Flagler was able to score by using good shot selection.
“The Bulldogs just shot the ball well,” Jenkins said. “Flagler just made shots, he was always in the right spot.” Jenkins had six points and three assists in the loss.
The Rattlers’ next task is to put the loss on Monday behind them and get ready for the season finale Thursday at 7:30 pm. against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (16-14 overall, 7-8 in the MEAC).
The Rattlers anticipate returning home for their final game before the MEAC championships begin.
Jenkins said that the last home game will be a significant one for the team in terms of preparation for the conference tournament.
“I think it’s really big because it’s a rival game and we need to feel good about ourselves coming into tournament play so that we have confidence,” Jenkins said.
The game against the Wildcats will be the first rematch since the Dec. 5 game in which the Rattlers lost 59-58 on the Wildcats’ home floor. Jenkins said the Rattlers can beat the Wildcats by double digits if they can play solid basketball for the entire game, rebound and stop the Wildcats from setting screens.
“We learned that if we stop their ball screens, rebound and limit (the Wildcats) to one shot, we can win by ten or more,” Jenkins said. “We just need to attack for 40 minutes.
The last game of the regular season will be on Thursday in the Al Lawson Center and the tip off will be at 7:30 p.m.