Rattlers-Wildcats goes down to the wire

Courtesy of Famu Athletics

With just 14.8 seconds in the game, the Florida A&M men’s basketball team fought hard competing against their rival the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats; but fell short of a victory 54-55.

Early in the game, FAMU jumped out to a quick start with a 10-0 point lead and got off to 17-4 run before a timeout was called. B-CU went scoreless for the first five minutes of the game.

The Wildcats closed the gap toward the end of the first half, but the Rattlers defense held tight to end the first half 28-24.

FAMU took the momentum to begin the second half with a 7-4 run.

Although the Rattlers came into the game with a lead, the Wildcats consistently would not give up without a fight.

B-CU went on a run of their own, eventually tying the game 43-43 with nine minutes left in the second half.  

After the Wildcats tied the game, they gained the lead in the game 53-51 after a turnover led to an easy dunk.

With less than a minute left in the game, Malcolm Bernard came back with a vengeance, converting on a clutch three pointer, bringing the score to 55-54.

As both teams went into timeout, tensions were high from the crowd as the Rattler’s offense had one more chance to make a scoring basket with 14.8 seconds left in the game.

Senior forward Malcolm Bernard quickly got through some physical Wildcat defenders to get to the basket, but missed as the buzzer sounded.

Ricky Johnson who finished with 12 points and Mario Moody who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds were the only two to reach double figures scoring for the Wildcats.

Byron Samuels, head coach of the FAMU men’s basketball team, was hurt as well as disappointed from the lost for his team as well as the fans.

“I love our guys, I love the effort that they’re giving us; our guys are staying hungry, they’re staying humble. They continue to learn, they continue to grow.  I thought we made a great move at the end, but unfortunately it just didn’t go in. We’re going to be okay. We’ll continue to fight, we’ll continue to work and we’ll continue to get better.”

Malcolm Bernard led the team with 27 points in the game, contributing for half of the team’s production. He was the only player to reach double figures in the game.

“Like coach said, they denied me the ball. When I got it, whatever comes to me, just make a move and he hedged, I tried to split and when I split, I tried to draw contact with the rim and just finish. It just didn’t go our way this time.”

Though the Rattlers men’s basketball team was devastated from this lost they were grateful for the community, alumni and students coming to support at the game with more than 6, 000 fans packing the pit.

FAMU will go up next against the North Carolina A&T University Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.