Lady Rattlers extend winning streak to six games

The Florida A&M women’s basketball team continues to do exactly what it has been doing for the last three weeks – win.

Posting a 27-point blowout, the Lady Rattlers (9-5, 2-0 MEAC) went on to defeat the North Carolina Central Lady Eagles (2-13) 78-51 on Saturday in the McDougald-McLendon Gym in Durham, N.C., extending their winning streak to six games.  

FAMU controlled the tempo the entire first half of the game, entering halftime with a 44-22 advantage. Head coach LeDawn Gibson used the lead as a chance to give her starters leg rest, which she said would be needed during their upcoming matchup against conference-rival North Carolina A&T on Monday. Gibson relied strictly on reserves the entire second half.

“I felt pretty good about the game,” Gibson said. “We were able to get a big lead, so I was able to sit the starters for most of the second half to rest their legs for Monday’s game. That one is going to be a bit tougher for us.”

Qiana Donald led the Lady Rattlers into halftime with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds in the process. Tameka McKelton and Kimberly Sparkman assisted on offense with seven points each.

FAMU shot 41 percent from the field during the first half on 16-of-39 shooting, 25 percent (4-of-16) from three-point range, and 67 percent (8-of-12) from the free throw line.

The Lady Eagles concluded the first half with 40 percent shooting (8-of-20) from the field and 46.15 percent (6-of-13) from the free throw line.

Reserves would control the floor for the Lady Rattlers coming out of halftime. Team depth was a major factor in their point total as all 13 players saw game time.

Donald would post 20 points for the game, securing a double-double with 10 boards. McKelton would trail not too far behind, scoring 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Bennett, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s leading scorer, gathered 11 points, while Jasmine Grice chipped in 10.

“My teammates looked out for me today,” Donald said. “They looked for me, they believed in me, and my shots just continued to fall.”

The Lady Rattlers finished the game shooting 42.6 percent (29-of-68) from the field, 76.2 percent (16-of-21) from the line and 22.2 percent (4-of-18) from three-point range.

Kabrina Truesdale (13) and Blaire Houston (10) each scored in double figures for the Lady Eagles. As a team, they shot 36 percent (16-of-44) from the field and 76 percent (16-of-21) from the free throw line.

FAMU will return to action Monday in Greensboro, N.C. to take on the Aggies at 5:30 p.m.