Their execution may have been sloppy, but the Florida A&M University Lady Rattlers still managed to come away with a 72- 47 win over the Edward Waters College Lady Tigers Thursday night.
With 16 turnovers and countless missed layups in the second half, FAMU head coach Debra Clark said that the team could have played better.
It started as an average steady paced game, but it later included inconsistent play inside by FAMU, illness on the Edward Waters sideline and poor ball handling by both teams.
Edward Waters’ starting center Amber Carter sat on the sideline with nausea, which may have affected the entire team. Edward Waters head coach Regina Mosley said her player’s illness was because of a team meal earlier in the day. Mosley said it did not take a toll on their performance.
“Well our team ate at a buffet restaurant and she [Carter] and a few other players were ill from that,” Mosley said. “I think that we gave a good effort. We took quick shots which led to quick baskets, but our poor defensive transition gave the Rattlers the chance to pick up [on us] in the game.”
Coach Clark’s decision to start four guards for the second straight game played a major role in the final results. Deidra Jones, a 5-foot-10 sophomore guard, led the team in scoring with an efficient 15 points. Jones said that the lineup may be something the Lady Rattlers should consider sticking with.
“Starting four guards put me in a better rebounding situation,” said Jones, who also led the team with 11 rebounds. Coach Clark said that starting four guards gave the team the opportunity to take good shots and remain aggressive.
With the help of junior guard Q’Vaunda Curry and her 13 points, the Lady Rattlers used their stifling defense to dictate the overall pace of the game.
“We just tried to keep the pressure on. They were averaging 22 turnovers, so we knew we had to keep the pressure up,” said Curry, who also tallied 9 rebounds and 6 steals.
In the second half, the FAMU offense stalled and Edward Waters cut the lead to 16 points. With the score 48-32, Curry stole the ball and drove to the basket for an easy layup. Later, sophomore forward/guard Stephanie Foster hit the bottom of the net with a big three pointer that took the team to a 59-40 lead and changed the momentum to FAMU’s favor. The Lady Tigers managed to score just seven more points for the remainder of the game. The visitors could not keep up with the Lady Rattlers’ intensity and chemistry.
“Sometimes we have a slow start, but if we’re all on one page everyone usually just follows,” Curry said.
Although the Lady Rattlers put together a major win, the team had to deal with their power drive center Ifeoma Onuaku being on the sideline and temporarily removed from her starting position for the past two games. Coach Clark said she kept Onuaku out as a way to motivate and hopefully spark some fire under the 6-foot-4 senior.
“Iffy had been struggling so far as far as being productive to the team,” Clark said. “She did some productive things which was good for us, so hopefully that will build her confidence for the rest of the season.”
Onuaku pulled down 2 rebounds for the Lady Rattlers and showed some spark by contributing 9 points in only 12 minutes of action.
The Lady Rattlers look to carry the momentum of their two-game win streak into upcoming games. FAMU will take on Mercer University Saturday at noon in Macon, Ga.
For results and analysis of the men’s basketball game against Edward Waters College, visit www.thefamuanonline.com.