The FAMU men’s basketball team bounced back from a bitter overtime loss Saturday night, going wire-to-wire to down Delaware State 60-47 Monday afternoon.
Leading the way for the Rattlers, senior guard Justin Ravenel led the way for the Rattlers, scoring a team-high 21 points on 7 of 17 shooting from the field (4-12 from the three-point line), and FAMU now improved its record to 6-14 on the season and 3-2 in conference play.
In this game, FAMU made its intentions known early and often against the Hornets on the defensive side of the ball. The Rattlers defense was able to apply pressure in a multitude of ways. FAMU’s defense was able to force DSU into one turnover after another, as the Hornets finished with more turnovers (11) than assists (8) in the game. Also, with all the constant pressure FAMU was able to put on the ball, the Rattlers were able to force DSU into a bunch of bad shots, resulting in the Hornets shooting an unfathomable 6 of 24 from the three-point line and 17 of 59 overall from the field.
“We came off of a tough loss, and that team we just played (Delaware State), usually averages 43 points a game, and they scored way more than that last game, so I just came in with a defensive mentality and the rest of my team did as well,” sophomore guard Kamron Reaves said.
Although the Rattlers were struggling to find their shooting touch in the first half (11 of 29 from the field), they were able to quickly turn that around coming into the second half. FAMU saw themselves shoot noticeably better from the field (10 of 21) and saw their lead expand with each made basket.
Reaves also seemed to make his presence known on both sides of the ball throughout the game. He finished the game with 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting from the field (3 of 4 from the three-point line), to go along with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block.
Isiah Martin was also able to bring an energy on the defensive side that contributed to the Rattlers victory. He finished with six points, nine rebounds (four offensive), one steal, and three blocks. Martin’s defensive tenacity not only dictated the shots that DSU was able to get within the paint, but this forced the Hornets into many tough contested shots from the perimeter.
With the Rattlers mindset to fight for every loose ball, 50/50 rebound opportunity on the floor and to play lockdown defense, FAMU head coach Robert McCullum, likes the attitude that has been instilled within this team.
“It’s something that our guys have embraced, you can’t emphasize 10 to 12 different things, we emphasized four or five, and our guys bought into the fact that people want to compare you to last year’s team,” McCullum said. “Each team’s personnel, style, trends, and weaknesses are different, this team has the ability to defend well and one of the things that specifically helped us was our switching.”
With consistent scoring coming from everybody on the team this game, Ravenel feels that if this continues this will cause more problems for opposing defenses moving forward.
“That’s just going to give defenses more problems because they’re going to have to defend more than one guy, they’re going to have to defend multiple guys when we have balanced scoring,” Ravenel said. “Whenever someone else is scoring, that’s just going to open up something for everyone else.”
With the Rattlers coming off their latest win against the Hornets, FAMU will travel to Baltimore, Maryland for another conference matchup to take on Copper State University this Saturday at 4:00 p.m.