Rattlers clench narrow victory against NCCU Eagles

The men’s basketball teamslithered by the North Carolina Central University Eagles,63-60.The win is the Rattlers’ fourth consecutive at home.

Florida A&M head coach Clemon Johnson was pleased to see his team play with passion at home.

“This is what’s going to get the fans in,” Johnson said. “They now believe that we can play basketball because this was considered to be one of the best teams in the conference. They (NCCU) were voted to finish third.”

The Eagles (8-5, 0-1 MEAC) held the lead for the entire first half, going to halftime up 42-34.

With just under 11 minutes left in the game, the Eagles led 58-44. Then the Rattlers (5-11, 1-2 MEAC) started their comeback.

The Rattlers went on a 7-0 run over the next three minutes as moment began to shift their way.

Senior guard Reggie Lewis finished with 19 points and attributed the win to the team’s belief and will.

“Coach kept telling us to keep fighting, and that’s what we did,” Lewis said. “We got stop after stop and then 3 after 3, and that’s how we got the game within winning distance.”

The final sequence of the game with 22 seconds remaining was set up by a Rattlers defensive stop.

FAMU trailed 59-60 when Lewis drove to the middle of the floor and passed to senior guard Jamie Adams, who calmly shot a deep 3-pointer that turned out to be the game-winner.

Despite struggling for most of the game, Adams made the biggest shot of the night and finished with 19 points, tying Lewis for the game-high honors. Adams said he was just doing what Johnson told him to do.

“Coach told me he brought me here to finish the game, so I didn’t want to miss that one,” Adams said. “It was just a great play by Reggie Lewis.”

The Rattlers will look to push their home win streak to five against the North Carolina A&T Aggies on Monday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.