Men’s Basketball Team
Despite how they have been playing as of late, the Florida A&M men’s basketball team lost 61-59 to the North Carolina Central Eagles. The loss dropped the Rattlers to 7-13 overall.
The team entered Saturday’s game on a two game win streak, which included a 62-58 win over then top-conference ranked Hampton Pirates.
North Carolina Central continued a win streak of its own after wins over North Carolina A&T and Western Illinois, improving it’s record to 10-9. The Eagles win streak is now 3.
The Eagles opened the up an early lead against the Rattlers in the first half. Interior offense and defensive toughness contributed to the Eagles lead. C.J. Wilkerson led the way for the Eagles scoring 18 points in the contest.
Men’s basketball head coach Eugene Harris said tough defense could have led to a win.
“Early on we hurt ourselves. We didn’t play tough man to man defense and they got going early,” Harris said.
The Eagles scored 41 first half points, the most for a Rattlers’ opponent all season. The lead was built on the shoulders of North Carolina Centrals’ inside game. Missed screens and quick screens led to open shots for the Eagles according to Harris.
The Eagles, who led 41-26 at half-time, saw the lead shrink to two points at 57-55 on two free throws by Yannick Crowder with 3:09 left in the game.
After North Carolina Central built a five-point lead, freshman guard Avery Moore hit a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to bring the rattlers within two.
Harris added that making shots in the inside would have led to a win.
“We had some good looks but we missed wide open shots under the basket and that’s never good,” Harris said.
Amin Stevens, who led the Rattlers with 16 points, missed a lay up with one second remaining that would have tied the game at 61-61.
Stevens leads the Rattlers in scoring and rebounding, a trend he continued after a 21 point 16 rebound game against Hampton.
Reggie Lewis added 11 points, while senior forward Christopher Walker contributed nine points in 10 minutes.
The Rattlers next game is Monday at South Carolina State. Players could not be reached for contact.