FAMU’s men’s basketball team snagged their first SWAC victory in a 60-59 win over Mississippi Valley State at home Monday.
Guard, Dimingus Stevens, was at the top of the scoring list bringing in a career-high 24 points and four rebounds. Jordan Tillmon rallied 12 points, while Jaylen Bates scored 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Rattlers quickly took over the first half with early free throws and three-pointers, gaining a 31-15 lead with 4:50 remaining. A three-pointer by Stevens toward halftime set the score at 36-19.
In the second half, the guys went on a 5-0 run, eventually getting a 43-35 advantage with 10:22 left in the game. The Devils came one point away from a victory as the clock ran out but were unsuccessful at snatching the win.
Three-pointers were a significant component of the Rattlers’ game Monday as opposed to Mississippi. They held the Devils to 37 percent shooting from the field.
Stevens shared his thoughts on the team’s SWAC win and his career-high, involving knocking down seven treys.
“It feels great,” he said. “It feels good that we finally got our first win. My teammates did a good job of moving the ball. I was open to hit shots, and it was a good night for me, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Coach McCullum was pleased with his team’s overall performance.
“I’m really happy about the win and proud of our team,” he said. “We would like to have finished the game better, yet we found a way to win.”
Jordan Tillmon appreciated the team’s passion this game around.
“I feel like our fight and competitiveness in this game picked up big time,” he said. “We didn’t settle as much and took better shots.”
McCullum knows the impact this SWAC win can have on everyone.
“I hope the win will do wonders,” he said. “Not only in terms of feeling better about ourselves and the team right now but in terms of how we prepare.”
Stevens wants the team to keep moving forward toward more outstanding achievements.
“We just have to use this as a pedestal and just improve from here on out,” he said. “We can’t take any more steps backward. I know we had a rough start to our season, but I think from here on out we can do big things.”
FAMU will head back on the road to challenge their next opponent, Alcorn State Braves, on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m.