Florida A&M University’s women’s basketball team overcame much adversity in its 84-81 overtime win against North Carolina Central University Saturday at the Al Lawson Center.
The Rattlers (5-19, 3-8 MEAC) were down a key player and had lost five in a row. But they got back on track by defeating the Eagles of NCCU (6-17, 4-6 MEAC).
Coach LeDawn Gibson was proud of how the team handled all the adversity and how they were able to turn the game around to win.
“It just feels great to win because they deserve it,” Gibson said. “We started the season with six post players and now we’re down to two.”
Florence Ouattara, a redshirt junior guard, led FAMU in scoring with 20 points while senior guard/forward Shakeyrra Morrison finished the game with 17 points and 12 rebounds..
The game started off with the two teams battling evenly r but the momentum slowly started to slip away from the Rattlers as the Eagles started to take over in the second quarter, outscoring FAMU 21-7.
With the Rattlers leading rebounder Shalaunda Burney-Robinson out for the season with an ACL injury, the team struggled to rebound and score in the first half.
The Rattlers went 8 for 32 from the field and 3 for 12 from the three-point line. And with the team only getting 4 offensive rebounds in the first half, their offensive struggles continued and they went into halftime down by 11.
The Rattlers were able to turn things around in the second hal, however. Their shots started falling and they capitalized on the missed opportunities and rebounds by the Eagles and finished with a season high 53 rebounds.
“We wanted to win more than anything. We were willing to dive on the floor to get the ball,” Ouattara said.
Senior guard Ecenur Yurdakul helped turn the game around by hitting the game-tying three pointer to take the game into overtime and a jumper that gave the Rattlers a lead in overtime and swung the momentum in their favor.
“I just couldn’t give up on my team, I just had to take some shots to get us back in it,” Yurdakul said.
With only nine active players left on the team, the Rattlers are hoping to overcome the challenges that face them to finish the season strong.
The next game will be at 6 p.m. Monday at home against Morgan State.