Women fall to Southern, 67-61

Ahriahna Grizzle, guard, pictured above
Photo Courtesy: FAMU Athletics

The Florida A&M women’s basketball team rallied hard against the Jaguars of Southern University for their final road game this season but fell 67-61 late in the fourth quarter. 

The Rattlers led the first quarter but could not keep the lead in the second, going into halftime down one point, 34-33. The Jaguars maintained that lead until the end of the third quarter where guard, Ahriahna Grizzle, shot a 3-pointer to put the team back on top. The Rattlers entered the fourth quarter with a three-point lead and scoring 14 of their 19 points in the paint. Freshman forward Sydney Hendrix and Grizzle tied for the game’s leading scorer, scoring 19 points. Nashani Gilbert had a game-high of nine rebounds after the ladies held Southern to only 37.9% shooting from the field.

The word ‘compatible’ is used to describe the two teams’ chemistry as the Southern and FAMU rivalry has been tight for both teams this year. Earlier this season, FAMU won against the Jaguars in Al Lawson, 59-53, in a battle that showed the Rattlers resilience. 

Head coach, Bridgette “Pressure” Gordon, who is in her first year of coaching at FAMU, is the mama bear of the team. She has trained the young women to have a winning mindset which entails not easily letting up. 

“We came out and we competed, we had ‘em” Gordon said in response to her thoughts on the game against Southern. She is proud of the team and sees progress each month while still understanding the job isn’t finished.”

Coach Gordon also spoke on the ‘Coaches Show’, which is live on Facebook every Tuesday, on the pressures the team is currently facing, specifically graduate student, Grizzle, who will play her last collegiate game in Al Lawson on Saturday. Grizzle is the leading scorer in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and teams are now shifting their focus to build their defense around her.

“You have to have the Michael Jordan and late great Kobe Bryant mentality.” Gordon said. “The defense can’t stop you; they can contain you”

Coach Gordon is not new to standing up in the mist of pressure and she came to the FAMU women’s basketball program to teach young ladies to have that same mentality. 

The women are 7-10 in conference play, maintaining the 6th seed in the SWAC rankings, still giving them a shot to play in the SWAC Basketball Tournament. 

The tournament will take place in Birmingham, Alabama March 13-16th where the top eight teams will be competing for the championship.

The lady Rattlers will face the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University in their last home game of the season on Saturday at 2p.m., for Senior Night and Alumni Weekend.