The Lady Rattlers lost 86-57 to the Virginia Commonwealth University Lady Rams on Saturday.
After an opening home loss, Florida A&M head women’s basketball coach LeDawn Gibson wanted her team to come out focused, but that was not evident against VCU.
The game unraveled during a seven-minute stretch at the beginning of the second half where the Lady Rattlers missed 13 consecutive shots from the field and committed three turnovers.
FAMU continued its shooting struggles for the third straight game. Gibson said the team is still working to find its identity.
“A lot of people are still trying to pick up the system,” Gibson said. “We lost 70 percent of our scoring and rebounding, so we’re just trying to put people in the right places.”
The Lady Rattlers started the game on a run and found themselves trailing by seven soon after. The team stormed back to take a one-point lead with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
FAMU exchanged baskets until VCU went on a 14-3 run to take a 10-point lead into halftime.
After halftime, the Lady Rattlers cut the deficit to single digits after a Keturah Martin jump shot. However, the team never got any closer than that.
Kimberly Sparkman led the team with 24 points and Jasmine Grice also chipped in with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Grice said the team was outhustled throughout the game.
The Lady Rams’ bench dominated the game in the second half, outscoring the Lady Rattlers’ bench 30-3. VCU also won the battle in the paint, outscoring FAMU by 28.
The three consecutive losses for the Lady Rattlers is the first losing streak the team has had since November 2011.
Despite the loss, Sparkman said the Lady Rattlers could improve from their early struggles. Sparkman said last year, they got off to a rough start but did not let it affect them.
The Lady Rattlers return to action when they travel to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday night in Charlotte, N.C.