The Florida A&M women’s basketball team got its first win of the year in the Multi purpose center against conference rival Howard. The intensity of the competition down the stretch seemed to gauge a high level of tension between FAMU and Howard.
“We had unfinished business with Howard, so we came out wanting to play hard from the beginning,” Antonia Bennett said
FAMU got off to a quick start, leading by 12 points with ten minutes to go in the first half. Howard was rattled but managed to put together a run to bring them within 9 at halftime.
“They made a run in the beginning of the second half to get back in the game,” Bennett said.
Bennett, the MEAC’s third leading scorer, was struggling with her jump shot during the first half.
“At the beginning, my shots weren’t falling. I was getting down on myself,” Bennett said.
Coach Gibson gave her scorer some words of wisdom down the tunnel at halftime.
“She got down on herself at halftime. I pulled her off and we walked into the tunnel together. I told her exactly what she had to do to adjust her shot and she did that,” Gibson said.
Those key words proved vital when Howard came within two points of FAMU’s lead with less than three minutes to go.
“Coach always tells me to be ready for the next shot, so I was ready to hit those big shots down the stretch. It was a big momentum shift for our team,” Bennett said
Bennett confirmed the victory when she threw a late game dagger from the three-point line to put Famu up 78 to 73. Bennett finished with 27 points and eight rebounds
“She is very versatile. She posted up when her jump shot wasn’t falling and in turn stepped out and hit the three when we needed it. So she did a good job,” Gibson said.
Bennett sealed the game with her length when Howard took a wild shot she almost blocked.
” Her length, I told her to play with her length and she played big,” Gibson said.
Jasmine Grice prevented late game free throw shooting with a layup that increased the lead to 7.
“I think she’s playing into her own. She sat out and red-shirted, then she had the knee injury last year. I think she’s beginning to feel confident in herself,” Gibson said.
Grice added 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals in thirty-eight minutes of play.
“She has been giving us great numbers. I am very proud about what she has been accomplishing. She can score, pass the ball, and she can defend the best player on the team,” Gibson said.
FAMU edged out conference rival Howard and finished with four players with double digit scoring in their home victory.