Mistakes and injuries hamper progress

Florida A&M’s women’s basketball team found themselves haunted again  by the mistakes that cost them a win against North Carolina A&T as they took on Norfolk State University Monday night.

While the team managed to pull off a win with a final score of 58-47, it was an empty victory, marred with a series of mistakes and inconsistencies.

The game mirrored Saturday night’s match-up, as the Lady Rattlers connected little more than 50 percent of their free-throw attempts. 

The team also only made 38 percent of their attempted shots for the night.
Head coach LeDawn stated that the team’s skills and abilities were not showcased to their fullest potential on the court.

“I think the entire game was sloppy,” said Gibson. “I told them, inconsistency will kill us. We just so happened to pull out a win.”

Inconsistency plagued usual high-scorers Tameka McKelton and Christian Rateree, both of whom connected less than half of their shots.

Rateree also suffered a setback in the form of an injury.

With two minutes left on the clock, Rateree collided with a Norfolk State player.  She attempted to stand on her own and had to be assisted off the court.

While the status of Rateree’s injury is currently unknown, Gibson expressed her concern over potentially having another injured starting player.

“We’ve just got to hope that Chris is okay, and go back, regroup, and try to win,” said Gibson. “We can’t afford another injury right now.  But, when you play sloppy basketball, anyone is bound to get hurt.”

Senior Guard LaShonda Gaines agreed, insisting that the team relies on the leadership that experienced players like herself and Rateree offer.

“It’s kinda just me by myself, because Deidra is hurt,” said Gaines. “I just feel like, if I don’t bring it, nobody else is gonna bring it. If they see me busting my behind to do what I’ve gotta do, then they’ll fall in line too.”

Sophomore guard Antonia Bennett went on to say that it was lack of mental preparation combined with hesitancy on the court that led to the team’s disappointing performance.
“We’ve gotta work on our mental state of mind before the game…and being able to be focused,” said Bennett. “Us as guards, we see things, but if you don’t hit it in that split second then the opportunity is over. We’ve just gotta work on keeping it simple.”

Gaines agreed, expressing the fact that the difficulty of the team’s choice of plays factored into how well the team performed.

“We try to go for the big plays…the spectacular ones…instead of the safe ones that we know will work,” said Gaines.

Gibson said that the team’s focus of improvement is mainly maturity and understanding of the game.

“We’ve got a young squad, we’re just trying to do mature things and make mature decisions,” Gibson said. “Tonight, I just thought we were terrible.”