Florida A&M’s men's basketball team came out striking against the Johnson University Suns winning 103-71 in its home opener at the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center.
The Rattlers kept their momentum throughout the entire game, despite being 2-29 last year. They showed a lot of chemistry within each other, moving the ball and scoring effectively.
Junior guard, Malcolm Bernard, from Middleburg, Fla., was the leading scorer for the night finishing with 17 points, while sophomore guard, Craig Bowman added 16 and freshman Isaiah Omoregie, contributed 14.
Junior point guard Juwan Braye, was the high point man for the Suns with 17 points.
Senior center Mario Karailiev, expressed that he often thinks about last year, but this is a new year and new season.
“I do think about it [last season] a lot,” Karailiev said. “The season that happened last year, I don’t wish on anybody. Every time I step on the court it’s in the back of my mind. I’m giving my 100 percent and I know if I’m not giving a 100 percent the same season might happen again.”
The Rattlers closed out the first half with a 21-point lead. Coming into the second half, the Rattlers jumped out to a 12-1 run until Suns coach, Craig Wilsman called a timeout.
FAMU second-year coach, Byron Samuels was impressed with the team’s performance tonight.
“We played with some enthusiasm and excitement,” Samuels said. “We did it in fashion and shared the basketball. We had a lot of weapons that was kind of on display tonight. I think this year can be promising.”
Samuels noted that the team still has some kinks to straighten out.
“We got to continue to work, we got to continue to grow and we got to continue to find the right location,” Samuels said.
The Rattlers had nine turnovers in the first half, but quickly fixed it with only three in the second.
Senior point guard, Jerran Foster said it is a big accomplishment to win, especially the first home game, and that the team is becoming a unit.
“Going into our season we are looking for a good turn around,” Foster said. “Everybody is getting more comfortable. I feel like we are closer as a team and our chemistry is a lot better.”
The Rattlers next game is against the Southern Illinois University Salukis in Carbondale, Ill., on Sunday. For more information visit the Famu Athletics website.