Guards impress in second straight win

In a typical basketball game, there may be two – or maybe even three – guards who trot onto the floor as part of the starting five.

Well Florida A&M University women’s head coach Debra Clark apparently didn’t get that memo as she started four guards in Thursday night’s 72-47 victory over the Edward Waters College Lady Tigers.

Sophomore guards Deidra Jones and Taniyah Dawson joined junior guards Q’Vaunda Curry and Joslyne Jackson in the guard heavy starting core. Freshman Secrett Anderson was the lone player of the starting five not to wear a “g” behind her name.”Coach said she was going to put the top five players on the court who she feels can contribute, and they just happen to be a lot of guards,” said Jones who led the team with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Whatever Clark’s motivation for the lineup choices, it seems to be working as the Lady Rattlers raced their way to a 25-point rout of the Lady Tigers.

This is the second game in a row that FAMU has started four guards. The end result – convincing blowout wins over Edward Waters and conference rival Bethune-Cookman College. Both games, which have given the Lady Rattlers a combined 72-point margin of victory in their last two games, have featured dominant efforts by the FAMU backcourt.

“We go out every game thinking that we are going to win. And when we think like that, we want to win by a lot,” said Curry, who has had solid contributions on both ends of the floor in the Lady Rattlers’ last two victories.

Against B-CC, Curry led the backcourt with 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Quincy native had another good game against Edward Waters as she posted 13 points to go along with a team-high 6 steals.

Curry led the Lady Rattlers defense that frustrated the Lady Tigers’ offensive attack. Edward Waters starting guards Ruth Ward and Alicia Huffman combined to score just 20 points on a woeful 8 for 27 shooting effort.

Huffman and Ward also combined for 11 of the team’s 22 turnovers.

“We knew that if we kept pressure on them, they would turn it over,” Curry said.

With the FAMU guards applying defensive pressure early, the game soon became a track meet, which played into Clark’s game plan.

“We are so much better in our transition game this season. So for us to have guards with the ability to push the ball is really a plus,” Clark said.

Dawson set the team’s fast paced tempo and added 10 points on an efficient 5 of 10 shooting against the Lady Tigers. She has taken advantage of her starting position after taking over for injured junior guard Evette Young.

“I felt good today,” Dawson said. “I don’t think we played as well as we did against Bethune, but we pulled it together.”Dawson said that every player on the team is geared toward putting points up on the board.

“You always look to score points. If shots are open, we know we have to take them. And when you’re scoring a lot of points, the game is more fun,” Dawson said.

Clark said that before the team took the floor, they knew that superb guard play was a must against Edward Waters.”We knew they had quick guards. But we were able to get some easy buckets,” Clark said.

For anyone who doesn’t think that the Lady Rattlers can sustain this guard-laden starting core, they would be sadly mistaken.”As long as it is working, we are going to stick with it,” Jones said.