Women’s basketball team falls on hard times, confidence still in place

It is no secret that the Florida A&M University’s women’s basketball team has been experiencing a slump, but the team is ready to turn it around.

Coached by Debra Clark, the Lady Rattlers have now played 20 games this season. The team has lost 10 games but has also won 10, which makes the slump seem a little better. Team members said the slump is below average. However, all agreed that with basketball, you win some and you lose some.

The Lady Rattlers played at Winston-Salem State University Saturday and won, ending an eight-game losing streak. However, the team lost by nine points to South Carolina State on Monday.

Stephanie Foster, 20, a forward and guard, said the recent loss was dissatisfying.

“They weren’t necessarily a hard team,” said Foster, a junior broadcast journalism student from Ohio. “We were just undersized and they took advantage of the match-up,”

The Ohio native said she was confident of future wins but the team would have to adjust certain things.

“Still, I believe we can overcome the slump because many of the games we lost were when we were winning at half time,” Foster said. “So in that case, we have to play hard for the entire game as opposed to just staying strong in one half.”

Foster, who recorded a career high five blocks in the game, said the Lady Rattlers can overcome the slump. The head coach shared her sentiments. Clark said the slump has been disappointing, but the team can pull though it.

“The slump has been tough,” Clark said. “The team started out well this season. We were nine and one. However, things have happened and tragedies have come into play. We’ll work through it. We made a few mistakes down the stretch but we’ll survive.”

Clark has been coaching the team for seven years and she said the experience has been very rewarding.

“It’s fun,” Clark said. “Of course, it’s a lot more fun when we’re winning. Sometimes things don’t go your way, but we’ve won a lot of games during our tenure.”

Of all the games the Lady Rattlers have participated in this season, point guard Evette Young, 22, a junior criminal justice student, said the match against Coppin State was most difficult.

“Coppin State was harder,” said Young, a native of Fort Lauderdale. “They had an all around attack. Their guards were good and they just had a better defense.”

The next game will be at home Saturday. The ladies will go up against North Carolina A&T.

The team is optimistic about the future.

“We just have to continue to work harder,” Foster said. “We also must continue to get the support of the fans.”

There are nine games left this season for the Lady Rattlers. There is still a chance to turn things around. Clark said this can be accomplished.

“The slump was a combination of different things,” Clark said. “You win some and you lose some. That is what comes with the game. You have to be mentally tough to endure it. We built up confidence with our win against Winston-Salem but came up short against South Carolina State. We’ll be home for the next four games, so that should be very encouraging.”