Women’s basketball team looks to extend streak to eight games

Florida A&M’s women’s basketball team, which is coming off a 70-68 victory over North Carolina A&T this week, will face the Savannah State Tigers Saturday.

Even though the Lady Rattlers are on an impressive seven-game winning streak, head coach LeDawn Gibson and her players said they are still grounded and not taking this upcoming match-up for granted.

This game against the Lady Tigers will be the team’s fourth conference game this season. They are perfect in conference play on the season, gaining wins against Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina Central and on Monday, North Carolina A&T.

Qiana Donald, a senior forward from Jacksonville, Fla., said the team plans to focus on maintaining its defense and offense as it prepares for Savannah State. Handling these things will pay off come game time, Donald said.

“We just want to go out there and play our game and do what we do best,” she said.

This is the mindset of the entire team as it prepares to take on Savannah State (6-9), which won its first conference game of the season last week against Morgan State.

The Lady Rattlers are aware that it takes more than individual talent to come away with a victory.

“We have to play hard as a team and not as individuals,” said sophomore guard Kimberly Sparkman, who averages 11.2 points a game. “We have to give it our all and play how the coaches know we can.”

Gibson is on the same page. She said the team will have to work as a unit and play to its best ability if it wants to continue its winning streak. Although Gibson said strong play on both sides of the ball is important, she is particularly stressing defense at this point in the season.

“Our No. 1 team goal for the season is to hold each of our opponents to 50 points every game,” Gibson said.

FAMU’s defense allowed its lowest point total of the season on Jan. 9 as it held North Carolina A&T to 51 points on 36.4 percent shooting from the field (16-44).