The FAMU men’s basketball team lost its second straight game against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) leaders Norfolk State at home Monday.
Since going on a five game win streak against MEAC opponents, the Rattlers have dropped their last two games in conference play, bringing their conference record to 7-4 and their overall record for the season to 10-16. The Rattlers are still hanging on to third place in the MEAC.
Poor shooting plagued the Rattlers offense against Norfolk State, as the team shot 17-50 (34 percent) from the field, only made 5-22 (22 percent) three pointers, and shot 15-28 from the free throw line.
“Shots we normally make, didn’t go in and as a result we got beat in every phase of the game," head coach Robert McCullum said. “When you shoot poorly against a team that’s as deep and experienced as Norfolk State, this is what happens.”
The Rattlers defense allowed them to hang in the game, despite the poor shooting FAMU was only down by seven points at halftime.
“We got off to one of our worst starts in conference play,” head coach Robert McCullum said. “I felt like we rushed some our shots in the first half, but our defense did not cost us this game."
To start the second half, Norfolk State went on 14-5 run and never looked back as they were led by Nic Thomas who scored a game high 26 points on 6-12 shooting while also shooting a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line.
The Rattlers were led in scoring by senior guard Justin Ravenel with 18 points, who emphasized finishing this season strong.
“We can not harp on these two losses, we have to go on the road be gritty and win.” Ravenel said “We have to understand we have five games that still need to be played and that there is still a lot at stake.”
Senior center Isaiah Martin was the only other Rattler to reach double digits in scoring with 10 points. He also added in nine rebounds and two blocks to his statline. Following the game the community college transfer spoke on what playing for FAMU has meant to him.
“Playing in this environment is great, it’s emotional that it’s coming to an end, I love this fan base and playing for them.”
Although the 66-54 final score made the game seem close, Norfolk State held a lead for 39:52 of the game while the Rattlers never led once.
The Rattlers look to end their two game losing streak in their next game against the Savannah State Tigers in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday at 8 p.m.