Men’s basketball team looks to win first home conference game

Florida A&M’s men’s basketball team will be taking on the Savannah State Tigers in its first home conference game Saturday.

The Rattlers, who are coming off an 82-85 overtime loss to North Carolina A&T, look to improve to 2-1 in conference play.

With Savannah State voted by the coaches to have a top-six finish in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, head coach Clemon Johnson made it clear that free-throws, rebounds and minimal turnovers must be improved.

“Savannah State and South Carolina State will show us where we are in the MEAC,” Johnson said.

The Rattlers are hoping to move up the MEAC ladder. ?

“We shot the ball a little better,” Johnson said. “I seem to have a little more firepower with the addition of Amin Stevens and Chris Watson.”?

Stevens, a junior forward from Roswell, Ga. who posted 15 points in 39 minutes against North Carolina A&T on Jan. 9, believes playing at home is a great advantage.

“I am feeling very good considering we only lost two home conference games last year,” Stevens said.

The Al Lawson Center has proven to be winning territory for the team, and with eight home games left, that can make a difference in the MEAC rankings.

“I believe that we will perform well. It’s our first conference game at home, and we want to defend our home court during conference play,” sophomore forward Reggie Lewis said. “Our goal for this game is to come out with a victory. We want to come out and play hard on both ends of the floor for 40 minutes.”?

Lewis said Johnson told the team that there will be no excuses, and praised players for their focus. Players are ready for the challenge, Lewis said, and by performing well in the present, can continue winning games.

“Against Savannah State, the things that we need to do as a team is to improve both our free-throw shooting and limit our turnovers.” Johnson said. “Playing a team of this caliber, they will take advantage of both those situations.”