The Florida A&M men's basketball team first conference home game had no shortage of excitement as the Rattlers improved to 2-0 in the MEAC. FAMU battled the Coppin State Eagles on Wednesday, in a game that saw multiple lead changes and a buzzer beater that was waived off.
The Rattlers were carried by junior guard Marcus Barham who led all scorers with 18 points, going 5-11 from beyond the arc. "I just try to stay calm, when I stay calm I feel like everyone else stays calm," Barham said. "I trust in my team and my team trusted me.”
Junior forward Desmond Williams also played a big role securing 6 rebounds and going 5-8 from the field to finish with 13 points.
The Eagles took a 53-52 lead with 29 seconds remaining in the game on a 3-pointer from Joshua Treadwell. After an empty possession, FAMU fouled and CSU missed both free-throws to keep the Rattlers deficit at one point.
With no timeouts, the Rattlers pushed the ball up court and Barham attempted a 3-pointer that came up short. Derrick Dandridge was there to crash the boards and put the Rattlers up for good after knocking down a layup with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game.
"I was just watching the ball the whole time, when it came to me I was just focused on making the shot," Dandridge said. "I just did what I had to do and was happy with the win."
Dandridge finished with 7 points and a game-high 8 rebounds. After officials reviewed the Dandridge shot it was determined that 0.4 seconds remained on the clock allowing the Eagles one more opportunity to win the game.
After a deflected pass CSU was able to inbound from half court and made a half-court shot but was already the end of regulation.
Coach Byron Samuels was happy with his teams performance. "I'm really proud of our guys for fighting and staying prepared, we talked to them all week long about conference games being tough and demanding. We knew it would be 40 minute game and sure enough it was a 40 minute game."
"I thought it was an ugly basketball game but that's symbolic on what we're going to face in conference play."
The Rattlers will look to improve to 3-0 in conference play when they host the Morgan State Bears Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm.