Hoping to keep their home court-winning streak intact on Saturday, the Rattlers fell short in a 58-55 loss to the North Carolina Central Eagles.
NCCU Eagles gave the Rattlers their first loss at home since a Dec. 4 loss to Bethune-Cookman.
“This is a team that beat us before at their place. We loss by two points so it was a close game like this one,” sophomore forward Amin Stevens said.
Offensively, Stevens led the Rattlers in scoring. He posted his seventh double-double of the season, in hopes of continuing the team’s eight game home win streak. Stevens chipped in 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but the Rattlers would need a little more from the supporting cast.
“We’ve got to have other people step up,” Coach Harris said. “We shot the ball poorly as a team.”
Stevens was the only Rattler to score more than eight points. The starting backcourt combined for six points on 2 for 10 shooting.
Harris said the real problem for the Rattlers occurred at the foul line.
“You can’t win a basketball game when you only go to the free throw line twelve times and the visiting team shoots 29 times,” Harris said.
In the second half of the close game, the Eagles went to the free throw line 19 times from 11 Rattler fouls. In the Rattlers only other home loss, the Rattlers sent the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats to the free throw line 30 times on 21 Rattler fouls.
“I think there was more hand-checking and illegal screens that should have been called, but were not,” Harris said.
Harris also added that shooting 3 for 21 at the 3-point line was also a mistake the team made.
Defensively, the Rattlers were kept off balance with the up-tempo game of the Eagles, who scored 10 second-chance points and 13 points off turnovers. The defense held the Eagles to 14 points in the paint and outrebounded them 37-36. The Rattlers end their home schedule Monday against the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Senior Night. Larry Jackson, Rasheem Jenkins and Christopher Walker will be playing in their last home game as members of the FAMU men’s basketball team.
C.J. Wilkerson had another good offensive game against the Rattlers with 15 points. In the first meeting on Jan. 29 Wilkerson had 18 points.
The loss dropped the Rattlers overall record to 12-17 and to 7-7 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for sixth place in the conference. The loss also dropped the Rattlers home record to 10-2.
The Rattlers end their home schedule Monday against the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Senior Night. Larry Jackson, Rasheem Jenkins and Christopher Walker will be playing in their last home game as members of the FAMU men’s basketball team