During the final second of regulation, the Rattlers basketball team (7-18, 5-6 MEAC) fell short to the Howard Bison (7-18, 4-8 MEAC) 71-69 Saturday night in the Burr Gymnasium in Washington, D.C.
Both teams appeared to be evenly matched, as the game experienced six ties and five lead changes. Neither team was able to maintain a notable lead for long, as both entered numerous runs throughout the game to keep the deficit at a minimum.
With six second remaining in the game, Tre Lee split a pair of free-throws to seal the win for the Bison.
“I think we lost a good one, one that we should have won,” head coach Clemon Johnson said. “I think talentwise we had a better team but the problem was that we settled for shooting the three-point ball. We had good looks but they just didn’t go in.”
The Rattlers shot 35 percent from the field and were only 3-of-24 from beyond the arc.
“We brought the effort, but we just couldn’t buy a basket,” sophomore Reggie Lewis said. “If we would have made at least one more three it would have been a ball game.”
Even though the Rattlers struggled from three-point range, Amin Steven paced the Rattlers with 50 percent shooting from the field and recorded a game-high 24 total points and 8 rebounds. Reggie Lewis added 8 points and 3 steals, while Jeremy Dean contributed 8 points and 5 rebounds.
The Rattlers were flat for majority of the first half but increased intensity during the second, entering a 12-0 run to overtake the Bison by double digits in the first four minutes. The Rattlers held the lead for majority of the second half but mistakes and turnovers allowed for the Bisons to close the deficit.
“We picked the intensity up and were up on Howard,” said senior forward Yannick Crowder. “After that, we had mental breakdowns that allowed them to get back into the game.”
Crowder added 2 points and led the game in blocks with four.
The game remained close for the remainder of the second half and the Bison escaped with a win.
“We have to learn how to put people away. That is the problem we’re having,” Johnson said.
Calvin Thompson led the Bison with 15 points. Lee posted 12 points, while Prince Okorah tallied 10 points.
The Rattlers will take Monday off and prepare for another conference road game Saturday against the Savannah State Tigers (14-10, 7-2 MEAC) in Savannah, Ga.