Rattlerettes’ turnover bug gives Lady Bison road win win

After a heartbreaking loss to Howard Saturday, the Rattlerettes look forward to a rematch against Delaware State today.

“If we controlled ourselves against the No. 1 team in the conference, we can beat anybody. We just need to come out harder” said senior forward Phaedra Mashburn.

In control for most of the game, the Rattlerettes (4-10 conference, 8-15 overall) self-destructed late against league-leading Howard (14-0, 15-8), falling 69-66.

The turnover bug bit FAMU again, as the Rattlerettes threw the ball away 14 times in the second half, with seven coming in the last 10 minutes of the game.

The Rattlerettes shot 44.1 percent from the field and pulled down 44 boards for the game.

The Lady Bison shot a mere 35.1 percent from the field and 28 percent outside the three-point arc.

“We knew they were going to press us and our goal was to attack their press” said Rattlerettes head coach Debra Clark.

With 1:05 in the second half, Howard’s Andrea Gardener made a layup for the Lady Bison. FAMU’s Candace Crawford subsequently turned the ball over with 47 seconds left.

After an Asia Petty miss from behind the arc, FAMU squandered another possession. Shelcey Harp turned the ball over in the lane with the shot clock running down.

Watson fouled Gardener, Gardener made two for two from the line with .5 seconds remaining. The Rattlerettes could not get off another shot.

FAMU got off to a quick start.

Early in the first half, Neisha Cameron pulled down a board off a missed three pointer by Howard’s Courtney Kirk. She shot a pass to Crawford who rushed the basket.

Pressured by Howard’s defense, Crawford handed the ball off to Shelcey Harp who made a jumper for a quick two points. This shot upped FAMU’s lead to 17-12 at 14:48.

Crawford led the team in scoring with 15 and shot 7 for 14 from the field. “I was really just trying to get my teammates involved” she said. “We really just wanted to come out and let them know that we can hang with any team in the conference.”

Nearing the end of the first half, the Rattlerettes seemed to lose the adrenaline that they showed at the start of the game.

After two minutes and 35 seconds of scoreless play, Essence Coggins of the Lady Bison made a layup at 3:52 and tied the score at 27-27.

With 21 seconds left in the half, Mashburn drew a foul from Gardener. She made two for two from the line and secured the halftime lead at 33-29.

The Rattlerettes pressured the Lady Bison right out of the locker room. Mashburn was sent to the line at 19:37. She hit two for two and brought the score to 35-29. Feeling the pressure, the Lady Bison committed a lot of fouls early in the second half. By 13:56, the team had six.

At 13:09, Kim Watson stole the ball from Howard’s Nicole Jackson. Watson dished to Crawford who made a jumper and brought the score to 43-39.

On the next possession, Crawford forced a Howard turnover and assisted on Neisha Cameron’s layup. The Rattlerettes increased their lead to six and the Lady Bison called their first timeout of the half.

“I don’t think we were as confident as we needed to be. We had numerous opportunities. In order to win you need to play a complete game. We didn’t do that” Clark said. “With this type of loss, it’s really hurting (to give the game away in the last plays of the game). I look forward to Delaware State on Monday and think the ladies do as well.”