The Florida A&M Rattlers (9-13, 7-4) Men’s basketball team made a statement on Monday, by defeating the no. 1 team in the conference North Carolina A&T (12-14, 8-3) 80-60, to keep their undefeated record at home.
The Rattlers started off the game early with great energy and effort on the defensive end. The defensive effort led to multiple forced turnovers which were key for the Rattlers that led them to eight of their first 14 points. The Rattlers pressed NCAT to end up with 10 turnovers in the first half alone and a shooting percentage of 46 percent.
Even though the team started off great defensively, on offense they left much to be desired by shooting only 11-36 from the field in the first half. Head Coach Robert McCullum emphasized to his team the importance of making shots and taking care of the basketball in the second half.
“Poor shooting impacted our game in other areas as well unfortunately,” McCullum said. “But we obviously regrouped and once we regained the lead, our confidence on both ends just grew.”
Heading into the second half, the Rattlers were on fire shooting the basketball, almost tripling the amount of points made in the first, shooting well over 60 percent. Junior Forward, DJ Jones had a huge contribution to the teams second half success with 10 points, after going scoreless in the first.
Jones, who got into foul trouble early explained how coach McCullum had an impact on how he was able to have a huge impact in the second half.
“Yeah, coach got on me about that, I had to play smarter,” said Jones. “I had to come in immediately and make an effort on the court and make sure that my presence was known.”
Senior guard Rod Melton also had a huge game. Melton was two assists shy of his first career triple double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
“I would definitely have wanted to see a triple double, but we have more games to play.” Said Melton.
Monday’s night win marked three straight for the Rattlers, something that has not been done all season. The Rattlers will look to keep this streak alive as they face off against Delaware State at 2 p.m. on Saturday.