Rattlers drop close game to Bison, end home win streak

Rattlers fans were out and in effect Saturday, but the men’s basketball team was not.

Florida A&M lost a tight game to conference foe Howard University, 69-62, ending the Rattlers’ (7-13, 3-4 MEAC) five-game home winning streak.

Head coach Clemon Johnson said the game hurt the Rattlers as a whole.

“It hurt us because of what we’re trying to establish in the MEAC,” Johnson said. “It hurt us because of the fact I thought we were a better team, and I still think we’re the better team.”

Senior guard Jamie Adams scored a team-high 19 points. Senior guard Reggie Lewis scored 13 points and senior forward Jomari Bradshaw chipped in 10 points.

The Rattlers grabbed a nine-point lead at halftime, 33-24. Their defense, however, would not make it to the second half.

FAMU lost the lead with 11:27 remaining as Howard freshman guard James Daniel began to heat up.Daniel gave the Rattlers’ defense fits in the second half.

He was held to only three points in the first half due to foul trouble but exploded for 28 in the second to finish with 31 on the night.

Johnson said the Rattlers were well aware of what Daniel was capable of.

“He had been so quiet the first half of the game, we just didn’t look for it,” Johnson said. “Once he got hot, it was too late to do anything about it.”

Howard junior guard Prince Okoroh followed up with 21 points.

Despite leading the Rattlers in scoring, Adams felt the Bison’s (5-15, 3-2) zone defense became an issue for the team.

“They played the zone so high it was like they were trying to take me and Reggie out of the game,” Adams said. “They did a good job with their defense.”

Lewis doesn’t know exactly what went wrong, but he feels the team started the game off slow.

“We came out sluggish and it hurt us tonight,” Lewis said.

The Rattlers will take on South Carolina State on Saturday in the Al Lawson Center.