Rattlerettes slide past Lady Blazers

Senior center Kim Watson scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as she helped to push the Rattlerettes past Valdosta State, 64-46, in Gaither Gymnasium Saturday.

FAMU had another poor shooting performance, barely hitting 40 percent from the field.

The Rattlerettes were only 1-for-6 from three point distance, and really couldn’t knock down any jump shots from outside the paint.

FAMU, however, did dominate inside the paint all game, mainly with Watson. FAMU scored 24 of its 31 first-half points in the paint, and had 40 points for the game.

“I felt good out there,” said Watson, who also had seven steals in the game.

“We weren’t hitting any of our outside shots, so I knew I had to step up.”

FAMU had almost as much trouble from the free throw line as it did from the rest of the field. The Rattlerettes only shot 61 percent from the line.

The Rattlerettes played excellent defense, forcing Valdosta State, which never led in the game, to make 23 turnovers, which FAMU turned into 24 points.

However, the Rattlerettes had 19 turnovers of their own. The Lady Blazers shot 35 percent from the field. FAMU also won the rebound battle by nine (FAMU had 42, VSU had 33).

“If we continue to play well on defense, then it will help us on offense,” said guard Tene Miller, who had seven points and five assists for the Rattlerettes. “Our shots will eventually start to fall.”

FAMU jumped out to a 12-2 lead to start the game. The Lady Blazers fought back and tied the game at 25 with 2:40 left in the first half. The Rattlerettes never looked back from there. They went on a 20-6 run, with Watson scoring nine of those points.

“Kim has been working very hard,” coach Debra Clark said. “The team is really riding her right now, and so am I. The only thing that can stop Kim is Kim.”

Forward Clouttia Young had eight points and seven rebounds for the Rattlerettes. Guard Yolanda Dixon also put in nine points.

Forward Danielle Hernandez led Valdosta State with 10 points, and Candice Ferrell had seven points and seven rebounds in the game. Over half of the Lady Blazers’ points (27) came from their bench.

Clark said she was mainly looking at this exhibition game with the Lady Blazers to improve her team’s overall performance in time for the start of the season.

“We’re definitely getting better defensively,” Clark said. “Because we weren’t shooting well, we really had to depend on our defense to bail us out. But I know we’re going to have better games shooting from the field this year.”

The women will officially start their season Nov. 22 at the Eastern Michigan University tournament, which will include Stetson, Canisius, and Eastern Michigan.

The Rattlerettes next home game will be on December 3 at 5:30 p.m. against Bethune-Cookman.