While the Bethune Cookman Wildcats have their eyes set on another win Saturday, the Florida A&M Rattlers look to bounce back from a 79-74 loss to the Eagles of North Carolina Central earlier this week.
Both teams are ready to go toe-to-toe once again after the Rattlers failed to pick up the win in the Jan. 30 matchup.
The Rattlers will have a determined Malcolm Bernard as he is focused on his teammates getting a win this time around.
Bernard said After leading the team with 16 points against NCCU that the team plans to “play harder with more intensity and focus, stick to the game plan and execute” to beat the Wildcats.
The Rattler defense has to be up to par dealing with both guard Jordan Potts and forward LaRon Smith. Both are redshirt juniors. Potts had 21 points and Smith finished with 20 against the North Carolina A&T Aggies in a thrilling 83-77 overtime victory on Monday.
It has been a long tough season for the Rattlers as their 2015-16 season is nearing the end. Thus They are currently 7-17 and are 3-8 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. They have a 6-4 record when in front of their home crowd, which can help them in Saturday’s matchup.
The Wildcats will be heading into the Al Lawson Center Saturday looking to improve to 11-16. They have not been having the best of luck on the road with a 3-12 away record. The Rattlers have a definite upper hand on the Wildcats.
FAMU Men Head Coach Byron Samuels said he is looking forward to seeing a “smart and intelligent basketball team,” he said. “Emotion of the first game got a few players caught up. They forced quick shots and turnovers.”
Samuels expects a whole different team Saturday in front of a pumped up crowd.
The fans are intense and excited for the big game as they all know the rivalry and what it stands for with the game.
Dominique Dawson, a first-year FAMU pre-nursing student from Durham, NC said that she is excited to witness her first HBCU rivalry game of the basketball season.
“I think there will be more of a turnout than there is at most home games because of the rivalry,” Dawson said.
The men’s basketball team is ready for the highly anticipated Saturday matchup. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.