Rattlers lost second game of tournament

The second game of the Cancun Challenge resulted in a loss for Florida A&M Rattlers men’s basketball team.  FAMU played against the Stanford University Cardinals on Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif. The final score was 69-99, in a game where multiple players played significant minutes.

Sophomore forward Yannick Crowder led the team in scoring and rebounding with 14 points and 6 rebounds against the Cardinals.  Crowder logged a total of 21 minutes in the game before fouling out with 5:39 left in the second half.

Crowder became the fifth different player in five games to lead the Rattlers in scoring this season, proving that they are still trying to figure out their identity.  In the Stanford game, nine players played at least 10 minutes, and FAMU also had nine players who scored five points or more.

Junior guard Rasheem Jenkins played 17 minutes on Saturday against the Cardinals, and he’s pleased with the fact that so many players are starting to gain playing experience early in the year.

“It helps a lot, we’re learning our strengths and weaknesses,” Jenkins said.

The Rattlers, despite the loss, were able to compile their highest point total of their road trip on Saturday against Stanford, and the bench actually outscored the starters 35-34.

“I was impressed with all of our guys, especially all the freshman and sophomores,” Jenkins said.

FAMU will continue in the Cancun Challenge with their next two games taking place in Mexico.  On Tuesday, the Rattlers will face the Rider University Broncos out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Although the tournament has boasted some stiff competition for the Rattlers, Jenkins welcomes the challenge.  

“We’re young and we’re on the road so it’s tough,” Jenkins said.  “But this is what I love, I love to play against the best when the lights are on.”

The Cancun Challenge is headlined by the Kentucky Wildcats, who are currently ranked fourth in the country.  The tournament is comprised of eight teams total, including the University of Virginia, Oral Roberts University and Sam Houston State University.