After coming off a tough loss to Savannah State, the Rattlers took on Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats Monday night in a highlight filled game. The Wildcats managed to break a seven game losing streak with a final score of 82-76.
Led by Derrick Dadridge, the Rattlers got off to a good start in the first half, winning the tip-off and sinking the first bucket from the junior forward.
Both the Wildcats and Rattlers started off with a full court press, but the Wildcats came out with the advantage forcing turnovers for easy fast break buckets.
Just when the Rattlers thought they were making their way to the Wildcats lead, they fell underway. Junior Wildcats guard Brandon Tabb ended the half with 29 points and connected on several key three’s.
Rattlers trailed 49-38 going into the half.
Marcus Barham held the Rattlers in the game by converting four of seven three-pointers for the game. He also had multiple hustle plays throughout, but it was no match for the Wildcats high field goal percentage.
“The main thing I feel we fell short at was defense, and running and gunning- that’s where I feel like we do our best,”said Barham.
Even though the Rattlers managed to keep the Wildcats under 35 percent from the field in the second half, the Rattlers failed to hit pivotal free throws throughout the game, which could have pushed them into the lead in the final minutes.
The Rattlers unsuccessfully closed out. This loss took a toll on head coach, Byron Samuels. Samuels said that there is not much for him to do but to continue coaching and take advantage of their opportunities.
“I talked to other coaches across the country, colleagues and friends that I know and they pretty much say the same thing: keep encouraging — stay positive, and that’s what we’ll do,” said Samuels.
“We could easily be 4-0 but we also could be 0-4, these games have been this close so we just have to flip these games to our favor.”
The Rattlers will look to break their losing streak against Maryland-Eastern Shore at home on Monday, January 23.