The Florida A&M men’s basketball team fell to the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in a 67-65 overtime loss Saturday in Daytona Beach.
The Rattlers (6-16, 3-5 MEAC) and the Wildcats (9-14, 4-4 MEAC) struggled from the field, shooting 43 percent and 42 percent respectively. FAMU shot well from the 3-point line, but it was not enough to defeat the B-CU.
FAMU went into halftime with an 11-point lead. But a B-CU rally in the second half forced overtime, led by sophomore guard Ricky Johnson and his career-high 25 points.
“They went on a run we weren’t able to stop,” said Reggie Lewis, a junior guard from Cleveland who led the Rattlers with 17 points and three assists. “There was a stretch of about four minutes where we went scoreless, and we just can’t have those lapses.”
The overtime period was closely contested as both teams traded baskets on layups and free throws for most of the extra session. The Rattlers tied the game at 65 on 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining.
However, Johnson hit a jump shot with one second remaining for the go-ahead score. It was the second time in the last three meetings that the Wildcats forced overtime and beat the Rattlers at the buzzer.
Jamie Adams, a junior guard from Chicago who finished the night with 15 points and five assists, reflected on the play that sealed the game for B-CU.
“We knew Johnson would have the ball in his hands,” Adams said. “We did a good job of pressuring him on the screen, but he kept his dribble and made a tough shot.”
Despite losing a 14-point lead, head coach Clemon Johnson said he is proud of the way his team fought the entire game. He said the team will not dwell over the loss to the Wildcats but use it as a learning experience.
The Rattlers return to the court Saturday to play the North Carolina Central Eagles at 4 p.m. in Durham, N.C.
Editor’s note: The printed version of this story incorrectly listed Vincent Ross as a co-writer.