Tic tac toe, three in a row

The FAMU men’s basketball team beat Winston-Salem State 68-61 Saturday afternoon in Gaither Gymnasium, making it their third straight win.

In February the Rattlers fell to WSSU 59-57 but approached this game seeking redemption.

Before the game against the Rams, the Rattlers watched tapes of their previous game and learned from their mistakes. Junior Lamar Twitty, a guard from Fort Lauderdale, said the team wanted payback.

“We wanted to stop what they did to us the previous game, which was making inside shots,” Twitty said. “This game we made it tougher for them to score in the inside.” At the end of the half, despite shooting 40.7 percent on the floor compared to the Rams’ 52.6 percent, the Rattlers led 26-20. FAMU started the second half strong accumulating an 8-point lead over the Rams that made the score 35-27.

A 22-13 run by Darius Floyd with 7:40 remaining in last half gave the Rams a slight lead over the Rattlers 49-48. After that brief lead, the Rattlers started to dominate.

A layup by Twitty and back-to-back three pointers by Leslie Robinson brought the Rattlers to an eight-point lead making the score 63-55 with three minutes remaining.

The Rams remained determined but couldn’t hold off Twitty. He nabbed three of FAMU’s last points at the foul line. Twitty said he performed better in the final half of the game.

“I started the first half kind of slow but in the second half, I got things going,” Twitty said.

Twitty finished the game with 17 points while teammate Robinson finished the day with 25 points, which is 13 shy of his personal goal of 103 this year. Akini Akini almost finished with a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Robinson said though he has a goal of averaging 100 points for this season, he would be OK if he didn’t make it. His main focus is graduating this summer and pursuing a basketball career overseas. “The team played great overall,” said Robinson, a senior guard from Rockford, Ill. “Because of them I was in the position to score.”

The Rams were led by Floyd, who scored 15 points, followed by Brian Fisher with 12 points. Jamal Durham and Paul Davis both pulled 10 points for the team.

The MEAC is coming up and the team hopes to claim a victory. Eugene Harris, the coach of the basketball team, said anytime basketball teams go into the conference championship, they start with a clean slate.

“We are going to take it one game at a time,” Harris said. ” If we do what we have to do we’ll have a positive outcome; if we don’t we’ll have an outcome we don’t like.”

The next basketball game is March 3 at 7:30.