The Florida A&M men’s basketball team defeated North Carolina A&T, the number one team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, at the Al Lawson Center 83-77, giving them a two game winning streak as they improve their conference record to seven wins with just eight loses.
Just last week the Rattlers defeated North Carolina Central, another top team in the MEAC, and seems to be gaining confidence before the start of the MEAC tournament,
“It was a hard fought win. We beat a very good team, a team that was tied for first entering the game tonight,” said head coach Robert McCullum. “We beat a team that has three point shooters. They have obviously a good inside game. My guys did a great job maintaining their composer.”
Throughout the season, most of the wins for the Rattlers have come from seniors Marcus Barham and Desmond Williams performances and they both delivered once again. Barham, who is the second leading scorer, averages 16.5 points per game and scored 22 points as he lifted the Rattlers above A&T in the second half behind his three-point shooting, making six out of the 10 shots.
Williams, who leads the Rattlers in scoring with 18 points per game, contributed with 22 points, five rebounds and one blocked shot as he shot 66 percent from the field goal within 36 minutes of playing time to help close out the Aggies.
“It’s good to always have your coaches and teammates behind you,” said Desmond Williams. “I’m glad coach trusted me to shoot the shots that I shot tonight, and I made them luckily.”
Williams didn’t have the opportunity to participate in practice to prepare for the game given that he hasn’t practiced since Feb 2. due to a slight injury, but still managed to play through it and produce high numbers for his team.
“I think for him to come out and perform the way he did is excellent,” said McCullum. “He’s given all he has for the team night in and night out. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
With the Rattlers managing to shoot 84 percent from the free throw line making 16 of the 19 attempts and 52 percent from field goal, it’s no question that everything seemed to work in their favor to secure the win.
Starting guard Elijah Mayes contributed with 18 points and seven assists to edge the Rattlers on before fouling out towards the end of the game.
“My coaching staff and teammates did a great job of putting me in a position to make plays during the game. Setting great screens and there was great spacing to allow me to attack.” said Mayes.