The Florida A&M basketball team (11-18) lost a heartbreaker to longtime rival Bethune Cookman (13-15) in a highly anticipated Mid Eastern Conference matchup.
The Rattlers looked to bounce back after suffering a loss against South Carolina State on Monday. Turnovers were the Achilles heel for the team entering Saturday's contest as they averaged 15 turnovers a game. The team gave up 20 turnovers and Wildcats capitalized, scoring 24 points off of those turnovers.
“The 20 turnovers (were) clearly the difference in the game,” said FAMU head coach Robert McCollum. “You turnover the ball 20 times to a team that wasn't even pressing.”
One of the major storylines within the game was senior guard Justin Ravenel breaking the record for FAMU’s most made threes all time; a record formerly held by FAMU basketball alum Terrence Woods. Ravenel broke the record by hitting his 280th three-pointer with 8:22 left in the second half.
While most people in Ravenel’s position would try to force the shots needed to break the record,
he decided to take the same approach he always had and play to win as a team rather than focus on individual play. The Georgia native said in the post game press conference that he preferred to break the record playing the same way he had all season, and not interrupting the flow of the team’s offense.
One of the struggles for the team was inside play. Bethune entered the game with a frontcourt that has conference leading rebounder Cletrell Pope (12.1 rebounds per game). FAMU was not able to make an impact on the game on the inside, giving up 14 second-chance points to BC-U.
Some of this was attributed to the Wildcats having a more physical presence down low. FAMU’s senior starting center Isiah Martin, who scored seven points to go along with his four rebounds, talked about the challenge of Bethune’s frontcourt.
“I mean they just went big and we couldn't match it when they tried to pull me outside the post. They were just very aggressive and besides me there wasn't really anybody that could match their energy down low.”
The Rattlers will look to rebound against North Carolina A&T on the road Saturday, March 2.