Florida A&M freshman guard Jasmine Ballew finished with 14 points and three steals in a winning effort as the FAMU women’s basketball team won its first game of the season Saturday, turning back Edward Waters 70-64.
Candice Williams, a graduate guard for the Rattlers, led the team with 16 points, two steals and two assists while Dy’Manee Royal scored nine points.
Williams, the team’s eading scorer, was held to 2-of-5 from the field, but made up for it at the free throw line shooting 12-of-17.
“I’m OK with going to the free throw line,” Williams said in the post-game press confeence. “They (the Tigers) were bringing two defenders to the ball, so I knew if I kept attacking that I’d get the call.”
The Rattlers committed 30 turnovers, and that may have been due to the Tigers’ stout defensive strategy. Edward Waters head coach Charmaine Wilson said that the game plan was to put pressure on the Rattlers’ offense.
“Our defense was all over the floor on the defensive side,” said Wilson. “We forced a Division I team to (commit) 30 turnovers. Our press defensive schemes have really been turning teams over.”
FAMU head coach LeDawn Gibson was upset about the team’s performance in protecting the ball against the Tigers’ defensive scheme.
“I was upset about the turnovers. We did not take care of the ball. We have to take care of the ball because that will make or break us in a game. We have to start protecting the ball.”
The Rattlers, 1-5, shot 50 percent (23 of 46) from the field but struggled from the three-point line, shooting 8.3 percent.
“We shot 50 percent from the field, so we did not take a lot of bad shots,” said Gibson. “We wanted to attack the basket, and get more layups, so we did that as well.”
The Tigers shot 33.8 percent from the field and finished 33.3 percent from the three-point line.
According to Gibson, it felt good for her team to get this win, but the FAMU still needs to work on some more things for the next matchup.
“We have already started scouting on Florida, they are a very disciplined team,” said Gibson. “They score the ball, but their defense isn't as good as most teams. We have to get in there and score the ball. That's going to be the difference of the game on Sunday. If we can knock down some shots because I think we are capable of beating them.”
The Rattlers return to action on Dec. 9, against the Florida Gators at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.