Alcorn State snaps men’s winning streak

Jalen Speer dribbles the ball up the court.
Photo Courtesy of FAMU Athletics

The Florida A&M Rattlers faced off against the Alcorn State Braves, hoping to continue their win streak at the Al-Lawson Center. The Rattlers are coming off an 81-70 win against Mississippi Valley State, leading to their first conference win.

 The Rattlers started the matchup behind, going down seven points with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Braves could not pull away, though, as the Rattlers continued to make shots and keep the game close for the remainder of the clock. The score was 39-32 going into the second half with the Rattlers trailing, and they looked to be in a good position.

 “We felt pretty good about the way we opened the game; we thought there was some back and forth on both ends,” said FAMU coach Robert McCullum about their first half.

The Braves went into the half, draining two back-to-back threes, which gave them momentum in the next half. The Braves would open up the lead with a 10-0 run to start it off and extend it by as much as 19 points.

The Rattlers struggled to go on their run due to a lack of rebounding and defensive presence and ultimately ended up being defeated. The game’s final score was 76-67, giving them their fourteenth loss of the season.

“Defensively, when your opponent’s almost shooting 55% from the field and 43% from three, it’s going to be a struggle for you,” McCullum said, reflecting on the performance.

 Senior guard Jalen Speer led the team with 19 points and four assists. Junior guard Morrell Schramm was a spark off the bench, scoring nine points in the second half and finishing the game with 12. Jordan Chatman was a sniper off the bench with three triples, six rebounds, and four assists. The Rattlers shot 41.5% from the field and 48% from the three.

 The Braves shot 54.5% from the field and were led by senior point guard Byron Joshua, who had 16 points and six assists. The win gave them their fourth of the season.

The Rattlers face the Jackson State Tigers next. The team is currently 4-2 in conference play and has also defeated FAMU in the last three outings. Coach McCullum discusses what he thinks the team must do to prepare for the matchup.

“It’s such a short period of time from Sunday to Monday, so we can’t do much physically. It is more about mental preparation and familiarizing ourselves with the team. They have good balance and good backcourt play, so they will be another challenge for us.”

The two teams face off on January 29 at 8:00 p.m. at the Al Lawson Center.