The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers (4-18, 2-7 MEAC) came up short to the Howard Lady Bison (8-13, 4-4 MEAC) 76-65 at Burr Gymnasium on Saturday despite a valiant second half effort. The loss marks their fourth loss in a row, all coming from MEAC opponents.
The Lady Rattlers were without two of their five starters, which allowed everyone on the FAMU bench to play. Junior guard Florence Ouattara, who usually comes off the bench, also did not play Saturday due to an unspecified condition.
FAMU took an early 8-2 lead, but Howard recovered with active defense and a balanced offensive attack, gaining 25 points as they built their largest lead late in the second half.
Right before halftime, FAMU went on a 6-0 run to cut the Bison lead to 13.
According to Famuathletics.com, FAMU head coach LeDawn Dawson was pleased with the effort of the Rattlers.
“We played hard tonight,” said coach Dawson. “I give the young ladies who were on that floor tonight credit for leaving it all out there. When you don't have two of your five starters in place, it's tough to win any game in the MEAC. But, I thought our young ladies fought and they played off of each other. Unfortunately, in the end it's another tough loss for us”.
Senior forward, Shakeyrra Morrison led the Rattlers with a double-double of a team-high 19 points and 17 rebounds. Senior guards, Ecenur Yurdakul and Dawn King contributed 14 points and 13 points respectfully.
“We play hard as a team, I’m proud of the effort that my teammates put in because we lost two starters,even though we was right there with Howard,” said Yurdakul. “I wish we would have performed better in the second half .”
Howard was led by sophomore guard Sarah Edmond, who recorded a game high of 20 points. Jayla Thornton and Imani Bryant were key contributors off the bench for the Lady Bison. Thornton accounted for 14 points, and Imani Bryant lead the team with 8 rebounds.
One difference in the contest would be HU’s defense which held FAMU to 23-of-67 (34%) shooting for the game and the forcing of turnovers that resulted into fast break points. HU forced 15 first half turnovers by FAMU. The Lady Rattlers gave up 36 points in the paint to their own 26.
With seven games left in the season, FAMU looks to finish it on a good note and build momentum going into the MEAC tournament.
"I trust each person on this team. We are going to be ready for challenges we will face in the tournament,” said Yurdakul. “I can't wait for the outcome we are going to get. I believe that the Lady Rattlers can get the through the MEAC tournament final and end up with a ring."
The Lady Rattlers will continue their road trip by facing Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday.