Guard Jasmine Ballew. Photo Courtesy of Marissa Stubbs
The Florida A&M women’s basketball team almost pulled off a miraculous comeback, but the Rattlers’ attempt fell short as they lost to Norfolk State 69-62.
With this loss, the Rattlers are now ninth in the MEAC (5-20, 3-11) and the Spartans retain their spot in second place (16-9, 10-2).
The Rattlers were off to a slow start in the first quarter of the game, allowing the Spartans to go on a 21-0 run with 2:53 left.
“We came in and we had very little energy and very little effort. We have to come out from the start and put our foot on the gas and never let off,” said Head Coach Kevin Lynum.
Norfolk was able to outshine the Rattlers with their shooting, as they shot 54.2 percent (32 of 59) from the field. The Rattlers only shot 36.8 percent (21 of 57) and had 22 giveaways, allowing the Spartans to score 24 unanswered points.
“We have to value possessions, those are offensive opportunities. We have to be strong and confident when we get the ball in our hands,” said Lynum.
Going into halftime the Rattlers were down 15 points as the score was 41-24. Norfolk State kicked off the half with an 8-1 run, forcing the Rattlers to pick up momentum.
In the last quarter, the Rattlers cut the game close as senior forward Corey Staples hit two 3- pointers, advancing the score to 60-65. After that, the Rattlers were unable to answer back against the Spartans.
“She has really been playing her best basketball here, in the last four games, she scored double digits. I’m excited to see what she does here on Monday night,” said Lynum.
Center Shalaunda Burney-Robinson was the game leader for the Rattlers, scoring 16 points and a game-high of 12 rebounds. Other players such as sophomore guard Jasmine Ballew were able to score in the double digits, with 11 points, two rebounds and two assists.
“Different day, same magic. Robinson is a walking double-double. She comes out and plays hard for this team, night in and night out,” said Lynum.
The Rattlers will look to rebound in their last home game of the season on Monday, against South Carolina. Before the game, the Rattlers will commemorate their seniors. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.