Lady Rattlers to take on Aggies

Florida A&M Lady Rattlers basketball coach Debra Clark is puzzled as to why her Lady Rattlers continue to struggle in certain areas.



Aggressive defense?


Free-throw shooting?


Perimeter shooting?


Minimizing turnovers?

Uh uh.

Through 14 games, the Lady Rattlers are shooting 36 percent from the field, 58 percent from the free-throw line and committing, on average, 21 turnovers per game.

“We have had great games where we’ve scored 70 percent from the free-throw line and kept our turnovers at 15,” Clark said about her team. “It’s just a matter of the understanding that we have to do that every night.”

The Lady Rattlers (5-9 overall, 3-3 MEAC) ended a two-game skid Monday night with 76-57 victory over Morgan State in Baltimore, and the Lady Rattlers noticed some positive things they can build on.

“The bench players did well,” senior forward Quidara Russell said. “We need to continue playing smart basketball.

“Turnovers definitely hurt us because other teams capitalize off of our mistakes.”

On Saturday, the Lady Rattlers will take on North Carolina A&T University at 2:30 p.m. at Jake Gaither Gymnasium.

After opening the season with three consecutive losses to Kentucky, Mercer and Florida State, the Lady Rattlers have yet to win two consecutive games.

“In the early part of the year we played our non-conference games and those were tough,” Clark said. “When it comes to conference games, I feel we are suppose to win those.”

The Lady Rattlers are currently ranked fifth in the MEAC conference. With five of their next six games at home, they believe they can’t squander the opportunity.

“I think it’s very important to win our conference games so we can get a good seed in the conference tournament,” Russell said. “If we can win our conference, we’ll get a bye in the tournament and that’s something every team wants.”

Going into Saturday’s contest, Clark said she’ll be paying close attention to the aforementioned weak areas.

“I want to see them play aggressive defense,” Clark said. “I want to see them execute their plays and put the ball in the basket.”

The Aggies (2-11 overall, 1-3 MEAC) average 58 points per game, but the Lady Rattlers will have their hands full with junior guard Shareka Glover

“Looking at her numbers this year, watching film on her, she’s an impact player,” Clark said of Glover, who is averaging 10 points and three rebounds a game. “If we contain her, and don’t let anyone else have an outstanding game, we should be fine.”

In this juncture of the season, playing consistent basketball may be the real key to the Lady Rattlers having success Saturday.

“It is almost crucial because everyone must be on the same page,” said senior forward Ariel Towns. “I think cohesion is very important.

“We get wins when everyone is on the same page.”

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