Women take down Alabama State, 49-40

Photo courtesy: Florida A&M athletics
Ahriahna Grizzle laying the ball up.

Entering this game, Alabama State was fresh from a two-game winning streak, and Florida A&M and Alabama State were tied for 5th place in the SWAC standings. The Rattlers ended their two-game losing streak! 

Coach Gordon spoke about her message to the team before the game and what she expected her team to do after the two-point loss against Alabama A&M. 

“My message before the game was, Let’s end this business trip on a great note by going out and competing for 40 minutes. Rebound and finish plays,” Coach Gordon said. 

The first quarter started very slowly and was a defensive game. The pace on the offensive side for both was plodding, and they were struggling to knock down shots. Despite the slow start, the Rattlers found themselves offensively going on a small five-to-one run midway into the first. Towards the end of the first, the Hornets started to find their rhythm on offense to be down 14 to eight, with FAMU leading. 

The pace of the game picked up tremendously in the second. It was all FAMU in the second! FAMU guard Olivia Delancy and ASU guard Solangelei Akridge knocked down back-to-back threes. Florida A&M’s heavy ball pressure forced ASU to take bad shots and make careless turnovers to get easy points on the other end to extend their lead early in the second. Once again, ASU found their rhythm offensive down the stretch of the second. With 2:52 remaining in the second, Alabama State went on an eight-to-two run to enter the half 25-20 FAMU leading. 

Ahriahna Grizzle and Alabama State guard April Hooks started the third quarter quickly and in a hurry. FAMU’s offense kept rolling as their shots found the bottom of the net to extend their 11 points, the game’s biggest lead, with 5:00 minutes remaining in the third! It was all former SWAC player of the week, Grizzle, throughout the third quarter. She scored a robust 12 points in the third quarter alone to help FAMU control the game, leading 39-29 entering the fourth. 

Grizzle spoke about what led her to score 12 points in the third quarter. 

“I felt I was a little passive in the first half. Coach B gave me some pointers on where the defense is weak, and I got downhill in those areas within the offense,” Grizzle said. 

The Rattlers were staring at snapping Alabama State’s two-game winning streak and also snapping their two-game losing streak. ASU felt their winning streak was on the line, so they started to full-court press FAMU, which caused the Rattlers to make careless turnovers and be chaotic on offense. But the full-court press wasn’t enough, as Grizzle was able to control the pace to lead FAMU to cruise control in the fourth to victory, ending their two-game losing streak! 

Delancy expressed her excitement about ending their two-game losing streak. 

“It honestly feels amazing, and I’m ready to start our second winning streak this season. I believe we can be as great as we want to be. But all in all, I’m very happy and ecstatic about ending our losing streak, especially while being on the road,” Delancy said. 

Grizzle led the team in scoring with 26 points in the victory! 

The Rattlers return home on Saturday, Feb. 10th, as they take on Texas Southern University, seeking to extend their win streak!