The Florida A&M men’s basketball team defeated rival Bethune-Cookman University 75-67 Saturday in the Rattlers’ first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game and home opener.
Head basketball coach Clemon Johnson said he was happy that his words came true Saturday. He had been preaching to the Rattlers that once they get into the MEAC, everything would be different. Johnson was right.
The Rattlers shot a season-high 53 percent from the 3-point line.
Most of the 3-pointers came from junior point guard Jamie Adams, a third-year agribusiness student from Chicago, and Jamari Bradshaw, a third-year criminal justice student from Louisville, Ky. Both players shot 4 of 6 from the 3-point line. Bradshaw said that he knew his shots were going in before he made them.
The second half started roughly for the Rattlers, who committed five fouls and scored only four points.
Bradshaw managed to keep the game close, scoring 10 of the first 13 points in the second half. He finished the game with 20 points and six rebounds.
Adams had 24 points and three assists, playing a physical game and getting to the free-throw line 10 times. In the second half, he was fouled on a play and had to leave the game due to injury.
“My back has really been killing me lately,” Adams said.
He fought through the pain and managed to score 14 points in the second half, making both of his attempts beyond the arc. He also shot six free throws.
The Rattlers’ defense stepped it up in the second half, holding the Wildcats to 40 percent shooting and 17 percent from 3-point range.
“We got out of sorts,” said Adrien Coleman, a forward for the Wildcats.
With eight minutes left in the second half, Gravelle Craig, B-CU’s head coach, received a technical foul for arguing with the referees. After that, the Rattlers went on a 9-2 run and put the game out of reach.
“Free throws and sloppy turnovers killed us in the end,” Coleman said.
The Wildcats shot 40 percent from the free-throw line and had 16 turnovers.
With 30 seconds left, the Rattlers’ defense put pressure on the Wildcats, causing a turnover that sealed the victory.
“I feel like it’s going to be a different basketball year for FAMU,” Adams said.
The Rattlers take on Edward Waters College at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center.