Consistency on defense was key for the Florida A&M women’s basketball team during its exhibition match-up against the University of West Florida. The Rattlers defeated the Argonauts 85-64 in the Al Lawson Center on Friday.
“I’m very impressed with our defensive effort,” head coach LeDawn Gibson said. “I thought the young ladies came out and played hard, and that’s what we’re working on in practice. I think defense wins ball games.”
Sophomore Kimberly Sparkman led the defense with six steals; four of them came during the first half. Sparkman said tenacity is what it takes to deliver a solid defensive performance.
“With defensive effort, you just have give it, whether you’re tired or not. You have to keep pushing.” she said
Senior Antonia Bennett led the way on offense with a game-high 29 points on 50 percent shooting (13-for-26), while Sparkman followed with 15 (6-for-17). The Rattlers finished with 11 players scoring in all.
Bennett also contributed with 10 rebounds, while senior Qiana Donald grabbed nine.
“The team’s performance was great. We went out, competed and executed what we wanted to do,” Bennett said. “We played very well on defense. We had a few mishaps, but we got it together.”
Sher’Ryan Scott and Octavia Bearden led the Argos offense. Scott finished with 21 points (9-for-17), while Bearden scored 19 (9-for-12). Bearden also lead the Argos with seven rebounds.
FAMU finished the first half with 43.2 percent shooting (16-for-37) from the field, 27.3 percent (3-for-11) from behind the arc and 75 percent (3-for-4) from the free-throw line.
The Argos entered the break shooting 38.7 percent (12-for-31) from the field, 50 percent (3-for-6) from behind the arc and 50 percent (2-for-4) from behind the free-throw line.
The Rattlers would set the tempo coming out of the half, maintaining the lead for the remainder of the game.
FAMU finished the game shooting 44.7 percent (34-for-76) from the field, 31.8 percent (7-for-22) from beyond the arc and 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from the free-throw line.
UWF finished with 44.4 percent (28-for-63) shooting from the field, 40 percent (4-for-10) from beyond the arc and 44.4 percent (4-for-9) from the free-throw line.
The Lady Rattlers will return to action for their season opener on Mon., Nov. 14. They will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to take on Jacksonville University at 7 p.m. in the Swisher Gymnasium.