Lady Rattlers, ‘Noles face off for first time

The FAMU women’s basketball team will take on the Lady Seminoles of Florida State University for the first time in history Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

Many of the Lady Rattlers are thrilled for the opportunity to finally face the Seminoles.

“I have been trying to play FSU since my freshman year, but they always told us they won’t play us, so this is a big game,” said senior point guard Tene’ Miller. “I look at this as if it is a conference game.”

This contest is also significant because the two major colleges in Tallahassee will go head-to-head to see who will be able to call themselves the town’s ruling women’s basketball team.

“It’s going to be an interesting match-up and we’ve watched them and they’ve watched us over the years; we know each others talent and personnel fairly well,” head coach Debra Clark said. “It’s just going to be which team executes their game plan the best.”

FAMU has its strategies set for this game.

“Our biggest thing now is rebounding,” Clark said. “We are going to have to rebound the ball, minimize our turnovers and get back well on defense because Florida State’s is really quick and (will) not let them score.”

According to Clark, some key players on her women’s basketball team will also contribute to the team’s performance on Thursday night.

Clark will be looking for players like Miller and senior center Elana Greene, back from an injury, as the inside force; Candace Crawford and Charon Williams as the outside scores.

The Lady Rattlers have been practicing hard for this anticipated match-up against their neighboring school.

“Transition defense is what we have been working on and play execution because we need to score,” Miller, a 22 year-old physical education student from Detroit said.

When it comes to playing against a big team like Florida State, both mental and physical preparation is essential.

“I get real excited to play against big teams, any time we play against a big team my energy gets so high and off my intensity alone that’s how I prepare,” said Quidara Russell, a 22 year-old sports marketing student from Rahway, N. J.

Anticipation for the game Thursday is not only present in the players; the students who will be attending the game are looking forward to the match as well.

“I had no idea that FAMU played Florida State, but I will go to this game to support FAMU,” said Ketia Felix, an 18-year-old freshman physical therapy student from Orlando. “I believe that FAMU is going to win and with the new players coming in this season it should be an exciting game.”

Clark said FAMU matches up well with Florida State.

“Florida State is really quick and smaller than we are, so our girls are going to be able to get back on defense and not let them score easily on us,” Clark said. “I feel that if we play like (what) we are capable of, our defense can really work well for us.”

When it comes to skill, the players said they measure up to Florida State well.

“As far as talent, we are equal. I think our team can beat FSU,” Russell said. “If we play our best and even if they are at their best, I think we can beat FSU.”

According to Clark, fan support would be great.

“It would be a nice in-town rivalry,” Clark said. “It will be a good game for woman’s basketball in general; students should come out and support both teams.”

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