The Florida A&M Men’s basketball team (4-20) suffered a nail-biting loss at their home against Savannah State (9-13) in a 107-100 defeat.
Coming off a pretty productive road trip, the Rattlers were looking forward to a win against the Tigers who were tied with North Carolina A&T for the best record in the MEAC (6-1).
The game started out very sloppy for the Rattlers. FAMU only shot 41.2 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, and just making 50 percent of their free throws.
Even with their poor shooting, the team was able to keep the game close thanks to the scrappy play on the defensive end and Elijah Mayes, who shot 4-7 from the field along with dishing three assists.
In the second half, the game was still close with the Rattlers shooting 58 percent compared to 61 percent for the Tigers. While statistically both teams were close, one of the significant differences was the three-point line.
“We knew the challenge was going to be defending the three-point shot,” said head coach Robert McCollum at the post-game presser.
“Transition defense, offensive rebounding, taking care of the basketball, and the most important one defending the three-point shot we just didn’t do a good enough job.”
The Rattlers made only 20 percent of their attempts while the Tigers made 41 percent of their three-point field goals.
Another big difference in the game was bench play the Tigers were able to score 45 points from the bench, while the Rattlers only received 27 from theirs. Even though the difference between the two benches was 18 points, coach McCullum was still satisfied with the way the bench played.
“Scoring 27 points from our bench that’s probably if not a season-high close to it, it’s no knock it's just knowing who we are.”
The Rattlers were coming into the game with an emphasis of driving to the basket which can be seen in the Rattlers having 31 attempts and making 21 of them compared to the Tigers 21 attempts and 17 makes. Famu’s leading scorer, senior forward Desmond Williams who had a career-high 31 points, touched on the team's commitment of driving to the basket.
“It starts with listening cause when you given instructions you have to go out on the court and handle what coach has told us coach been telling us from the beginning we knew this team shoot three balls they’re way of playing is unorthodox they run and shoot they shoot it so we knew that we wasn’t going to be able to go out there and outshoot them.”
FAMU guard Nasir Core, who had given the Rattlers 20 off the bench, had also added a statement about the team’s commitment to the free throw line and staying aggressive.
“We had to make a commitment to getting to the lane and to get to the foul line, so that’s what I tried to I tried to be aggressive and play hard that was it.”
The Rattlers next game will take place on the road in Washington D.C. against Howard University, who Famu beat at home on Jan. 4, 84-76.