Grambling topples FAMU men, 69-55

Seniors at half court with AD Sykes. Photo courtesy: FAMU Athletics

The Florida A&M men’s basketball team tipped off in the Lawson Center on Saturday as they faced the Grambling State University Tigers. The Rattlers, who hlost 69-55, are currently 7-19 on the season and sit in 11th place within the SWAC. 

With hopes of qualifying for the SWAC tournament, the end of the season is quickly approaching, and the team needs a momentum boost as they close out a tough three-game stretch. 

Coach McCullum spoke about his hope for his team to qualify for the SWAC tournament. 

“Right now, we are taking it game by game, and we want to play as well as we can in every game, which is challenging,” McCullum said.”Our goal is to make the tournament, but, at the end of the day, we can control what we can control, and that’s going out and playing hard every night.” 

Before the contest, the team celebrated senior day, as four men’s Rattlers will graduate this year. The most notable senior who will be parting ways with FAMU is Noah Meren. According to ESPN, Meren averaged 6.7 points per game while adding 3.7 rebounds. 

The Tigers got off to a hot 8-0 start and looked comfortable getting off shots from all over the court. 

The Rattlers’ start could have been better, as the team started slowly, failing to score a point in the first three minutes. 

Shortly after, the rattlers fell back into a 2-3 zone which began to cause the Tigers offensive problems forcing them to put up contested shots at the basket. The zone could only hold the Tigers for so long. They found ways to maneuver around it and got to the free-throw line. 

The Tigers led going into the half with a score of 31-17. Forward, Jaylen Bates led the way for the rattlers in the first half, recording four points. 

Bates spoke about the team’s struggles to end the first half. 

“My shots were not falling, so I tried to look for my teammates towards the end of the half. We gave up too many second-chance points and rebounds,” said Bates.

Heading into the second half, the Rattlers’ struggles continued as they had difficulties creating scoring opportunities. The defense of the tigers forced the rattlers to turn the ball over numerous times at the start of the half. 

The Rattlers faced a tough 67-41 loss and looked to regain momentum as they head back to Al-Lawson on Monday at 7:30 PM to face off against the Southern University Jaguars.