The Florida A&M men’s basketball team ended its three-game road trip with a win over the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s fourth-ranked Hampton Pirates, 58-55.
It was a close game at the HU Convocation Center with 3,741 Pirate fans in attendance. The Rattlers (12-16, 7-7 in the MEAC) ended the game with three more rebounds and three less turnovers than the Pirates.
Junior forward Yannick Crowder, who had a season-high 16 points, led the Rattlers.
“Crowder did an awesome job offensively,” head coach Eugene Harris said. “We were on the road in a hostile environment and he played excellent on both ends of the floor.”
Crowder also contributed six rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks to the Rattlers win.
The Rattler defense allowed the team to score 19 points off turnovers. The team also shot 13 of 28 from the field in the second half.
“Defense won this game. I’m sure by now everyone knows our motto, ‘We are going to defend until the end,'” Harris said. “We are going to keep crashing the boards and forcing turnovers. Our guys did an outstanding job.”
With a little over one minute to go in the second half, junior guard Brandon Hosley gave the Rattlers a spark with a three pointer, making the score 51-47. The team sealed the game with seven points at the free throw line in the last minute.
The Pirate’s (19-8, 9-5 in the MEAC) junior guard Darrion Pellum gave the team an offensive edge, ending the game with a game-high 17 points. Pellum also had four steals and two assists. This defeat is the Pirates’ third straight.
The win leaves the Rattlers sixth in the MEAC and the team is preparing for The MEAC tournament.
“This win gives us confidence to end the season on a winning note,” Harris said. “We are preparing for the MEAC tournament. Winning the tournament means going to the NCAA tournament, and we are confident we will get there.”
The Rattlers are enthused to return home and continue their home streak. The next game will be Saturday in the Al Lawson center.