Men try for strong finish

The Florida A&M men’s basketball team is gaining momentum late in the season. The Rattlers picked up another win Saturday when they cruised pass Winston-Salem State University 75-61.

The team is preparing for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament.

Freshman forward Amin Stevens has stepped up his efforts over the last several games.  The Rattlers have won three of their last five games, and Stevens has led the team in either points or rebounds in four of those games.

Stevens and sophomore forward Yannick Crowder led the Rattlers in scoring against the Rams with 13 points each.

Stevens has led the team in scoring for two consecutive games, and his teammate junior guard Rasheem Jenkins said Stevens is a highly competitive player who is always looking for an opportunity to learn.

“[Stevens] listens and he just plays. He is always looking to compete,” Jenkins said. 
Jenkins scored nine points and had three assists against the Rams.

Florida A&M head coach Eugene Harris also appreciates what Stevens has shown early in his career and is impressed with the amount of poise he has displayed this season.

“I’ve been telling him, you are in the second half of the season. You are not a freshman anymore, you are a sophomore and he kept his poise,” Harris said.

Senior guard Brandon Bryant said the victory over the Rams (11-16 overall) was an example of the kind of game the Rattlers (8-20 overall, 4-20 in the MEAC) need to be playing at this stage of the season.

“Late in the season, we need to be playing our best ball, and I think we are,” Bryant said.  Bryant had seven points and two assists in the victory on Saturday.

The Rattlers are doing everything in their power to end the season on a high note. At Saturday’s game, 10 of the 11 players who dressed scored against the Rams.  Jenkins said the Rattlers were successful because they played well on both sides of the ball and everyone contributed.

“We had a balanced attack from everyone on offense and defense, and we just made stops and executed,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the Rattlers could duplicate their success from Saturday if the team keeps the same style of play for the remainder of the season.

“We just need to keep that same balanced attack at all times,” Jenkins said.

The Rattlers will go up against the South Carolina State Bulldogs (15-12 overall, 9-6 in the MEAC) tonight in Orangeburg, S.C. The tip off is at 7:30 p.m.