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The Lady Rattlers are locked in what is essentially a battle for second place with the Morgan State Bears. The Bears (6-2 in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference) come in the leading three-point scoring team in the conference. The Lady Rattlers have struggled defensive of late and are second to last in the conference defensively.
The bright side? The women have the No. 2 scoring offense in the MEAC. So far, Jasmin Grice has been taking the pressure of leading the scorers, Tameka McKelton and Antonia Bennett, and has four points off contested jumpers.
12-9 FAMU, 11:53 left in the first half.
Qiana Donald does not make free throws very often. It’s sad but true. When she makes both her foul shots, I think that’s a reason to celebrate.
The tempo of the game is a little slow. Deliberate half court sets, four to five passes each time out, nothing is really being done to push the ball in either direction.
Side note: Lots of traveling violations in this contest. Four combined so far.
14-12 FAMU, 9:50 left in the first half.
A 9-0 run would usually be cause for a timeout. Not quite sure what the plan is, but head coach LeDawn Gibson just put Qiana Donald back in the game. Donald leads all scorers with six points and all rebounders with four.
She also has just one foul.
Coming in with Donald is Grice. This lady is really proving she earned the starter tag Gibson gavehermidseason. Immediately after coming back in, she stole the ball right from under Morgan StateguardJamesia Smith and picked up her sixth point of the afternoon.
16-18 Morgan State, 4:46 left in the half.
FAMU is having some serious trouble connecting from the free throw line. 4-8 will not cut it when the Lady Bears are connecting both from the floor and on the line.
Donald is still earning her points though. Tough rebounding and even tougher shots. McKelton just has two points so far. The Lady Rattlers are going to need the MEAC’s leading scorer if they want to win.
18-24 Morgan State, 2:00 left in the half.
McKelton isn’t just absent in this game. She’s totally ineffective so far. Two points after taking eight shots, four turnovers and she’s even slowing up on defense.
Halftime stats coming soon.
18-25 Morgan State, Halftime.
OK so halftime stats went by this computer. No big deal, I’ll find some eventually.
Jasmin Grice is still proving she deserves her spot. A quick three, a quick steal and a quick rebound and now she’s back on the bench nursing what looks liked a poked eye. Hopefully she’ll be back soon.
The Rattlers are on a 7-0 run to start the half and head coach Donald Beasley of Morgan State has had enough. The beach for the Lady Bears has been cleared.
A three from guard Mahala Thomas stopped the run, but Lady Rattlers are back. Just ask Qiana Donald, who just picked up three back-to-back rebounds and put the ball in the hoop, getting fouled in the process.
27-28 Morgan State, bonus foul shot pending, 15:50 left in the game.
The Lady Bears seem to have put their heads back on following the clearing of the bench. The Rattlers managed to tie the game momentarily (Donald hit the bonus) but the Bears are back up by five after what I call 29-second defense by the Rattlers. The team plays perfectly for 29 seconds, then either gives up a foul or a shot with one second left on the shot clock.
McKelton hasn’t scored this half.
32-35 Morgan State, 11:20 left in the game.
Gibson is getting spectacular production from her bigs. Bennett, Donald, Danielle Anderson and Shekeira Copeland are providing the offensive spark for this comeback.
Copeland in particular is stepping up. Six of the Rattlers last eight points have come from her. The other two, surprisingly, came from McKelton. McKelton is continuing to shoot, despite her struggles. One has to drop eventually right?
Now if someone could just provide the defensive spark the Lady Rattlers would truly be in business.
40-41, Morgan State, 7:32 left in the game.
Like I said, someone, anyone has to provide a defensive spark. The Lady Rattlers took a 40-38 lead and the Lady Bears answered with a 9-0 run.
McKelton is finally showing up. Six of the Rattlers last 10 points have come from her. Most of the points have been from the free throw line, but who cares. A scorer finds ways to score.
Six unanswered from the Lady Rattlers.
46-47, Morgan State, 3:30 left in the game.
The Lady Rattlers have finally taken the lead for more than 30 seconds.
50-49, FAMU, with 1:00 left in the game.
Gibson has some serious faith in her leading scorer. Even when she’s struggling, Gibson will allow McKelton to clear out the court and drive on what could have been the Lady Rattler’s last possession.
The Lady Bears are up following two free throws.
After what was essentially a circus before the Bears crossed half court, the Lady Rattlers somehow have the ball with eight seconds left on the clock.
50-51 Morgan State, eight seconds left and the Lady Rattlers are inbounding at half court.
Bennett had a chance to win the game from the free throw line. After missing the first, she managed to sink the second. Overtime is a decent consolation price after being down by seven to start the half.
51-51, Start of overtime.
I’m pretty sure Beasley is close to giving himself a heart attack. The man is redder than… I’m going to avoid the tomato cliche today.
A defensive hiccup by the Lady Rattlers and the Lady Bears were able to capitalize and get a wide-open three. That’s the difference in the game for now
54-57, Morgan State, 1:39 left in overtime.
The Lady Bears jumped out in overtime and the Lady Rattlers couldn’t recover.
54-63, Morgan State, final.