Lady Rattlers continue winning streak at Gaither

Florida A&M University women’s basketball team improved their record to 9-12 overall and 5-7 in the MEAC with a 66-51 victory against South Carolina State University Saturday in Gaither Gymnasium.

Four Lady Rattlers scored in double figures with sharp shooting sophomore guard Q’Vaunda Curry leading the way for the home team putting up a game high 17 points and two steals in 34 minutes of play. Center Ifeoma Onuaku patrolled the paint all afternoon. The junior dropped 11 points and came just two rebounds shy of a double double.

But it wasn’t smooth sailing from the start.

After the Lady Rattlers jumped out to a seven point lead early in the first half the Lady Bulldogs crept back in, reclaiming the lead at 26-20 with 1:55 to go in the half.

The Lady Rattlers, who are nearly spotless (8-1) at home this season, responded resoundingly.

They reeled off seven unanswered points to end the first half, capped off by a leaning rainbow 3-pointer at the buzzer by sophomore point guard Evette Young that kissed the glass before falling in to put the orange and green up one at 27-26 going into the break.

“In the first half, we mixed up our defenses up switching from man-to-man to zone,” FAMU basketball head coach Debra Clark said. “We saw that the zone was working really well. We had good coverage and took away a lot of their strengths.”

FAMU continued its hot streak with a 14-2 run to the start the second half.

The Lady Bulldogs connected on a field goal by forward Melaney Denson on a lay-up with 11:42 in the second half.

The six-foot senior forward from Fort Pierce finished the game with 16 points and five rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

The win was yet another chapter in the story that’s been the 2005-2006 Lady Rattlers. Its pages are filled with gallant efforts in Gaither and frustrating losses away from home.

“I’ve been trying to figure that out the whole season,” said Clark of the Lady Rattlers’ 1-11 away record. “And the only thing I can contribute it to is the youth on our team.” The Lady Rattlers roster has only one junior and one senior.

“This is our home,” said freshman Deidra Jones, the team’s leading scorer averaging 14 points per game. “This is where we practice. We have to protect home.”

The win moved the Lady Rattlers to seventh place in the conference, a game ahead of the Hampton University Lady Pirates.

The Lady Rattlers face off against the North Carolina A&T University Lady Aggies tonight in Gaither Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m.

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