FAMU won its fifth straight game Monday by defeating South Carolina State University 60-50.
The Rattlerettes improved to 11-8 overall and 7-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, as SCSU dropped to 6-12, 4-6.
“We came out slow, but a win is a win,” said junior guard Yolanda Dixon.
Definitely taking their time, it took three minutes for the home team to make its first field goal.
No shots were going in, allowing the Lady Bulldogs to go on a 9-7 run. This lead didn’t last very long though.
Sparked by a Dixon layup to tie the game at 25 with 2:26 left in the first half, the Rattlerettes began to make their comeback.
Sophomore Candace Crawford came off the bench and immediately proved why she was in the game. She sank one of her two three-pointers with 37 seconds remaining in the first half to push the score to 31-25.
“My big thing was having confidence in myself and becoming more of an offensive threat,” Crawford said. “During pre-game that’s all I was focusing on.”
Crawford was a key factor in the Rattlerettes’ victory because senior Kim Watson was put in foul trouble early. Watson received her third foul 15 seconds into the second half and was forced to the bench.
“We were glad the other girls responded well and are becoming more of a team,” Clark said. “We knew she [Crawford] was a scorer and she made some key baskets for us.”
The Rattlerettes continued to prevail in the second half.
At the 9:17 mark, sophomore Diedre Tyus sank a free throw and pushed the score to 44-33. South Carolina State attempted to make a comeback by cutting the lead to four points on a jumper by senior Dawn Shell with 2:34 remaining, but the Lady Bulldogs missed their next seven field goal attempts.
The Lady Bulldogs also didn’t execute on defense.
“We made some defensive errors sporadically where we allowed FAMU to make some cuts to the basket,” said Keisha Campbell, SCSU head coach.
The Lady Bulldogs also erred by committing too many fouls, sending the Rattlerettes to the line early.
Taking full advantage, FAMU connected on 17 of 24 free throw attempts.
The Rattlerettes have won seven of their last eight games giving them good momentum going into Saturday’s game against second place Delaware State University.
“They were one of our first games,” Dixon said.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we know our strengths and weaknesses so we should be able to get more.”
In their first meeting, the Lady Hornets defeated FAMU 49-40. If the Rattlerettes win, they will only be one game out of second place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.