The Florida A&M men’s basketball team lost 51-65 to the Hornets of Delaware State in Memorial Hall on Monday.
The Rattlers fall to a 5-16 overall and 3-4 in conference play, ending a two-game winning streak.
The Rattlers had no answer for Delaware’s 13 block shots as the Hornets excelled in rebounds and took advantage of Rattler turnovers.
The Hornets (5-11, 2-3 MEAC) controlled the first half, entering halftime with a 23-27 lead.
Nathaniel Drayton, who posted 12 points in 14 minutes with nine rebounds, led the Rattlers. He also grabbed one rebound and added two assists. Amin Stevens followed with nine points and six rebounds.
Head coach Clemon Johnson acknowledged Drayton’s impact on the court and insisted that to increase his minutes on the floor, he would have to continue rebounding the basketball.
The Rattlers played a competitive first half. That intensity did not match up during the second half, as they failed to score because of block shots and turnovers.
“We had a tough time scoring the basketball,” said Reggie Lewis, sophomore forward, from Cleveland, Ohio. “[We] never really got into a rhythm offensively.”
“We did get a lot of the shots that we wanted,” said Jeffrey Kenning. “Unfortunately they happened to come up short; we missed them or they [DSU] blocked the shot.”
The Ratters were impacted by the present of Delaware State’s junior forward, Marques Oliver, as he tied a DSU record of eight blocks in the game against the Rattlers.
The second half was strongly controlled by the Hornets as Rattlers trailed by a spread of 14 points late in the half.
“Our turnovers are too high, we have to find a way to reduce those,” Johnson said. “We kept turning the ball over, and when they [DSU] went to the basket they blocked shots and got points off that.”
FAMU finished the game shooting 32.7 percent from the field (18-55), 33.3 percent from three-point range (5-15) and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Four players scored in double figures for the hornets. Tahj Tate posted a game-high 19 points, while Marquez Oliver scored 10 points with 12 rebounds for a double-double. Casey walker helped on offense with 14 points, and Jay Threatt tallied 11 points.
The Rattlers will continue conference play Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. against conference-rival Bethune-Cookman in the Al Lawson Center. FAMU will look to improve to .500 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference as it attempts to limit turnovers and rebounds.