Florida A&M men’s basketball team aimed to beat Norfolk, yet, again, they did not quite hit the target. While the Rattlers put up a tough fight, several careless mistakes caused them an 80-71 loss on Monday night.
The Rattlers played the first half with determination and focus. They executed defense so strong that many of the points scored came from free throws caused by fouls against Norfolk.
Minutes into the first quarter, Desmond Williams brought in the team’s opening points of the night, making the first three-point shot. The Rattlers persisted with a layup and two additional jump shots.
Elijah Maye’s impressive three-point shot, assisted by Justin Ravenel, lead the Spartans at a score of 10-4. For a good while, the Rattlers maintained the lead until opponent Kyle Williams scored a three-point shot.
From that moment, like last year’s game, the Rattlers began to fall short. According to espn.com, the Spartans led 36-28 at halftime and extended the lead to 60-45 with seven minutes left.
The Rattlers had an equal chance to win the game, but failed to regain control of the game after making constant errors, according to Justin Ravenel.
“The game was even in the opening moment, but we fell behind and we never regained momentum,” he said.
Although they started off strong, the Rattlers lost several points due to missed free throws and layups. Being that every single point counts in a game, one missed basket makes the difference between a win and a loss.
Elijah Mayes said, “We had multiple guys in double figures and gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch. Norfolk just played a better game than us that night.”
Head coach Robert McCollum shared those sentiments. “Justin is very capable of being a double digit scorer every game,” he said. “If he can do that, that’ll open our offense up.”
“Norfolk played well defensively and we learned we have to be prepared and mentally ready to play against teams with size and athleticism,” said Ravenel.
While the Rattlers did not come out with a win, they are aware of what strategies to take to overcome upcoming battles against Norfolk in the future.