Rattlers remain undefeated at Al Lawson

FAMU guard MJ Randolph pauses before he strikes to the basket.
Photo courtesy of FAMU athletics

Florida A&M University’s men’s basketball team concluded a short two-game homestand on Monday defeating Coppin State University 65-54. 

FAMU came into the game with a defense first mentality, which ultimately led to early success through the start of the game. The hounding Rattler defense held Coppin State to 0-5 shooting and forced multiple turnovers. When asked about the team’s defense, here is what Head Coach Robert McCullum had to say.

“It has sort of become our identity, we want that to be our identity. We are really coming together defensively. It’s hard to play better defense than that. We were all sliding our feet, taking charges, and contesting shots,” said McCullum.  

The Rattlers continued to play outstanding defense throughout the rest of the first half, holding Coppin State to just 17 percent shooting from the field and 0-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Rattlers ended the half with a commanding 14-point lead over CSU.

Coming out of the first half, the Rattlers kept up the solid defense. However, CSU had a better half shooting the basketball. The Eagles almost tripled the amount of shots made in the first, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the hole they were in from the first half. FAMU forced CSU to 19-54 (35%) shooting from the field for the entire game and 9-32 (28%) from three-point land. 

Although the team played great defensively, they also played a well-rounded offensive game. Florida A&M shot 70 percent from the free throw line and had two players in double figures. Sophomore guard MJ Randolph had a stellar performance putting up a double-double with 20 points and a career high 15 rebounds. 

“The team gave me confidence, said Randolph. “I was just trying to stay aggressive, the bigs were rolling with me, also we made a lot of stops on the defensive end and coach likes for the guards to crash the boards while the bigs box out so we can get the ball and push it up the floor.”

Center Evins Desir also had a huge impact on Monday’s game, shooting over 70 percent from the field dialing up 13 monster points.

“I couldn’t do it without my teammates, my team put me in situations to score the basket and be effective.” Said Desir. 

The Rattlers (4-11) hope to keep this momentum going into the next conference game against South Carolina State (7-8) on Saturday.