The Florida A&M women’s basketball team will play against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles tonight at 7 p.m. The Lady Rattlers (2-2) are looking to break the .500 mark in this game.
Though this year’s team is different, it has managed to hold its own against the competition. The Lady Rattlers have a strong team with a lot of athleticism, which has helped them stay competitive this season.
The loss of former MEAC Player of the Year Antonia Bennett and former MEAC Defensive Player of the Year Qiana Donald has left the team trying to fill the void. Players such as Jasmine Grice, Kimberly Sparkman and Keturah Martin have helped keep the Lady Rattlers in sync this year.
Martin, a criminal justice transfer student from Memphis, Tenn., is a guard who has played multiple positions for the team this year, showing her versatility on the court.
“The picture is bigger this year,” Martin said in a previous interview. “It’s bigger than the MEAC. We are looking forward to competing on the big stage.”
Grice has been a scoring spark for the team. She had a season-high 30-point scoring outburst in the Lady Rattlers’ last game against Georgia State University. Grice also contributed four rebounds and five steals in the 77-58 loss.
Grice, who has been with the team for three years, has contributed to the success of the Lady Rattlers. She leads the team in scoring, averaging 25 points per game. She also leads the team with 22 steals and is tied for the team lead with 21 rebounds.
Sparkman, who has played well defensively, has also made other key contributions to the team. She is the second leading scorer on the team, averaging 17.8 ppg.
Head women’s basketball coach LeDawn Gibson is proud of the progress that her team has made. Gibson, who is in her fourth season coaching at FAMU, said the players are working to get better.
“I’m working on getting girls to buy into the system and believe in themselves,” Gibson said earlier in the season.
The team hopes to improve as players begin to get healthy. With five key players out due to injury, the Lady Rattlers are more than shorthanded.
The game starts at 7 p.m.