The Florida A&M men’s basketball team fought to the finish of Saturday night’s game, beating the Morgan State Bears 63-59.
Junior forward Yannick Crowder scored a team high 15 points, coming off the bench. Guards Brandon Hosley and Reggie Lewis were the only other Rattlers to score in double figures. Crowder also had all four of the team’s blocked shots against the Bears.
“I felt like I had to be aggressive against their bigs,” Crowder said. “They have a lot of size and I wanted to make them work.”
Senior forward Larry Jackson added 9 points to the victory on 50 percent shooting. Head Coach Eugene Harris was pleased with Jackson’s performance, but was more impressed with his leadership.
“He provides leadership as a senior, and that’s important,” Harris said. “It’s not the words they say, it’s the action on the court.”
Jackson managed a team high 11 rebounds. He said the team wants to be able to continue this type of success away from home.
“It feels good to win in front of the home crowd,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, we can start winning some games on the road also. As long as we continue to protect home court we should be good.”
The Rattlers have an 8-1 record on its home court and have five remaining home games this season.
“Home court advantage means a lot in any conference,” Harris said. “What can make us really tough is if we can get our students and the city of Tallahassee to come out and watch us play.”
The first half of the game remaining neck in neck, but the 2nd half was when the Rattlers began to gain momentum; shooting 61.9 percent, while Morgan State shot almost half that at 33.3 percent.
“Offense fills the stands but defense wins championships,” Crowder said. “To beat the best you have to play defense.”
Morgan State was the top seed in the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference before Saturday’s loss. The Rattlers are 2-3 against the top three teams in the MEAC.
Morgan State had the size advantage over FAMU. The Bears used it’s size to have 7 more rebounds than the Rattlers.
Coach Harris is optimistic about the rest of the season and says their motto is “We’re going to defend until the end.”
The Rattlers play Coppin State at home on Wednesday, February 7.