In a heated conference battle the Florida A&M, Lady Rattlers (9-15, 6-5 MEAC) took on the Howard University Lady Bison (15-9, 9-3 MEAC). The Lady Rattlers fell in a heartbreaker 58-57.
The Lady Rattlers had a rough start missing six of their first seven shots trailing 11-3 six minutes into the game. After the slow start, the team stormed back with a 9-4 run to shrink the deficit to 15-12.
The rest of the half was filled with lead changes that eventually ended with the Lady Rattlers taking a 29-26 advantage. The team took the lead in points off turnovers 9-7, which was a key to the change in momentum.
The second half started with an offensive lull from the Lady Rattlers as the team struggled to get into good offensive sets. Even with the offensive struggles, the Lady Rattlers were able to stay three points behind the Lady Bison for the majority of the half.
The Lady Rattlers battled to take a two-point lead at 47-45 with just under nine minutes left to play. After a series of traded baskets, the Lady Rattlers maintained a lead of 55-53. A missed layup from sophomore forward Jamie Foreman put a halt on the teams’ momentum. The Lady Rattlers allowed a three-pointer putting them behind 56-55.
After a timeout, the Lady Rattlers knocked down two free throws and lead 57-56. With 26 seconds remaining, the Lady Bison took the ball up the court to finish the game with a miraculous circus shot to take the game at 58-57.
“That was one of the best games our team has played offensively and defensively as a team. This was very hard-fought game just a disappointing ending,” said the Lady Rattlers coach, LeDawn Gibson, after the tough loss on the team’s efforts.
Junior Jasmine Grice of Quincy, Fla. led the team in scoring with 23 points. Junior Kimberly Sparkman of Columbia, Tenn., chipped in 18 points and broke her own personal best from last season with 72 made three-pointers.
“Crucial things just weren’t taken care of for us to win tonight,” said Sparkman.
The team looks to bounce back next Saturday against Savannah State University.