Despite 11 ties and eight lead changes, the Lady Rattlers clawed out a 55-51 win over the North Carolina A&T Lady Aggies on Monday.
Florida A&M head coach LeDawn Gibson was impressed with her team’s ability to take a late lead after losing early momentum against NC A&T.
“They played with a lot of intensity, and I saw the will not to lose,” Gibson said. “They played together as a team, and I think that’s very important.”
The Lady Aggies (11-3, 1-1 MEAC) took the lead from the Lady Rattlers (8-9, 2-2 MEAC) in the second half, but they couldn’t finish the job.
With 2:12 remaining in the game, junior guard Taneka Rubin took a charge and gave the Lady Rattlers new life.
Rubin sank a three that tied the game and gave the Lady Rattlers the opportunity to take the lead.
Senior guard Kimberly Sparkman was proud of Rubin for her resolve and shooter’s confidence.
“No matter if it’s at the beginning of the game, the end of the game or if it’s crunch time, you have to be able to put them in, and that’s exactly what she did,” Sparkman said.
Trapping defense and free throws played a major role in the comeback for the Lady Rattlers, who made 15 of 17 free throws while the Lady Aggies only shot 9 of 19 from the foul line.
Graduate student and guard Jasmine Grice, who leads the team in scoring, led the Lady Rattlers with 24 points. However, she gives most of the credit to her teammates.
“It’s not about me,” Grice said “I just rely on my teammates to help me get the ball, and I just play off them.”
Rubin also scored in double figures with 15 points.
Lady Aggies’ junior guard Debbie Smith led the Aggies with 16 points.
“We were supposed to win,” Gibson said. “Our confidence is there, and they see that they can play anybody.”
The Lady Rattlers will travel to Orangeburg, S.C., where they will play the South Carolina State University Lady Bulldogs on Saturday.