Category Archives: Florida A&M University

FSU Men’s Tennis Impresses vs FAMU

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 13 Florida State men’s tennis squad faced Florida A&M in what was the first of two matches on the day.

FSU headed into the match-up fresh off the heels of a hard-earned victory against a top-10 University of Florida squad. Many suspected that fatigue would play a part in the matches, but the Seminoles seemed as energized as ever as they swept doubles and won 3 straight singles.

“Our team has been very consistent this year,” Noles head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We give good effort all the way through the match.”

All three doubles teams dominated their FAMU counterparts.

The Whitehurst twins set the pace with a dominating 4-2 victory over Jermaine Le Grand and Labelo Alex Mosehle. With that performance, they bring their overall record to 12-4.

Alex Knaff and Guy Iradukunda struggled a bit more against Adam Nourelidin and Nani Federico, yet still pulled out a 6-3 victory. Sebastian Arcila and Chase Wood rounded out the victories with a 6-2 win over Rodney Sturgis and Hasona Samer.

A couple of fresh faces got a chance to get some experience today.

“We use opportunities like this to build,” Hultquist said. “Today we had an opportunity to play some guys who don’t get in much and let them get some experience.”

One of those individuals was Arcila, who coming into today, only had one singles win under his belt. He won 6-3 and 6-0 over Moshele. Terrence Whitehurst also played in his eighth and ninth singles matches of the year, bringing his overall to 4-4. He won both matches 6-1.

Other singles matches victories included:

Iradukunda vs. Nourelidin (6-4, 4-2), Knaff vs. Federico (4-6 2-1), Rana Roop vs. Bhullar Hasona Samer Hema (6-1 6-14) and Terrell Whitehurst vs. Espinoza Luis Barres (6-1, 4-1).

Next week, the Seminoles plan on keeping their winning streak alive in the National indoors tournament on Feb. 16. The Rattlers plan to bounce back against Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday in Fort Meyers, Florida.

 

 

Rattlers Get Much Needed Home Victory

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Saturday night at the Al Lawson Center the Florida A&M Rattlers men’s basketball team took on the North Carolina Central Eagles in a late-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup. Scoring outburst from Desmond Williams and Marcus Barham in the second half helped lead the Rattlers to a 65-56 win over the Eagles. 

The Rattlers led at the end of the first half 28-25 despite being out-rebounded by 11, finishing with 14 compared to the Eagles’ 25.  Senior small forward Desmond Williams led the Rattlers in the first half grabbing six. The Eagles’ top rebounder in the first half was 7-foot junior center Raasean Davis, with 10 rebounds, three of which came on the offensive glass.

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The second half was more of the same as the final total of rebounds for the Rattlers was 31.  The Eagles out-rebounded the Rattlers by 16 grabbing 41 boards, 21 on the offensive glass.

“We took good care of the basketball.  We turned it over only eight times and they had 15 turnovers,” FAMU head coach Robert McCullum said. “Their 15 turnovers sort of negated their big advantage that they had on the boards.” 

Williams, the Rattler’s leading scorer, struggled in the first half shooting 2-7 with only five points. He also committed three turnovers and was given a technical foul for hanging on the rim.  During the second half, Williams had 16 points on 6-10 shooting and shot 4-4 from the free throw line.  He also cut his turnovers down from three in the first half to only one in the second. Barham added 20 points in the game.

“At halftime, I always reset. It’s a new game when the second half starts,”  Williams said. “I’ve had a bad game and my coaches still call plays for me after my bad first half. It helps my confidence and it shows that if I’m down on myself, my teammates and coaching staff still believe in me.” 

This win improves the Rattlers’ overall record to 5-22 and their conference record to 4-7.  The Eagles’ overall record sits at 12-12 and 6-4 in conference play.

Shooting percentage in the first half told the story as the Rattlers shot 41.7 percent, 44.4 percent from three. The Eagles shot 32.4 percent from the field on 11-34 shooting, and 18.2 percent from three on 2-11 from behind the arc.

Of the 11 field goals made in the first half by the Eagles, five were made by Davis as he shot 5-10 from the floor giving him a double-double with 10 points.

The second half was more of the same as the Rattlers shot 42.9 percent from the floor and the Eagles shot 35.3 percent.

Williams was playing on an ankle that he hurt against Norfolk State. He could be seen wincing and limping throughout the game. Every time he went to the bench trainers would stretch the ankle 

“It makes us all work harder. It makes us pull a little more extra weight because we know he was hurt,” Barham said.

Lady Rattlers Win 84-81 In Overtime Against NCCU

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers women’s basketball team defeated North Carolina Central Lady Eagles 84-81 in overtime Saturday in the Al Lawson Center.

The Rattlers trailed 36-25 at the half. Their shooting percentage caused them to be behind. NCCU shot 48 percent from the floor in the first half compared to 25 percent by the Rattlers.

Eagles’ guard Kieche White led all scorers in the first half with 14 points. She closed the game with 24 points. FAMU guard Florence Ouattara  ended the first half with eight points, to pace the Rattlers. She also led the team in scoring with 20 points.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

FAMU head coach Ledawn Gibson said the team made some adjustments in the second half. She also talked about all of the injured players on her team

”They came back in the second half with a winning altitude. They went with the gameplan, worked hard, played hard and did what they needed to do to win,” Gibson said. “Even though we lost some key players we still have a lot of talent. We’re nine strong right now and we are going to continue playing with what we got.”

Ecenur Yurdakul  talked about her performance in the closing period and overtime. She scored nine of 17 points in the second half, including a three to tie the game at 71 and another to give FAMU a 74-73 lead.

“I just could not give up on my team, I trust everybody on my team and I just had to make some shots to get this win,” Yurdakul said. “The key to our team getting back in rhythm was our offense.”

Shakeyrra Morrison talked about her physical gameplan and her rebounding during the periods of the game. Morrison led the game with 12 rebounds. She scored five points in the third quarter, after only scoring four in the first half. She ended the game with 17 points.

“My type of game is getting the rebounds and putting it back up and getting some stops on defense and scoring on offense,” Morris said.

NCCU’s Rodneysha Martin  and Paulina Afriye both closed the game with 12 points. Caira Benton also added 11 points.

Rattler sophomore forward Dy’manee Royal added eight points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Guard De’Ayra  Davis added 10 points and three blocks including one as the clock expired.

The Lady Rattlers next play on Monday against the Morgan State Lady Bears at 8 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.

FAMU vs NC Central Preview

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Florida A&M University Rattlers men’s basketball team will take on the North Carolina Central Eagles at the Al Lawson Center.  FAMU comes into Saturday’s contest 4-22 overall and 3-7 in their conference and NC Central has a 12-11 overall record and a 6-3 conference record.

This will be the teams first meeting this season and FAMU comes in as the clear underdogs.  Leading the way in scoring for the Rattlers so far this season is senior small forward Desmond Williams with 17.8 points per game. Not far behind is senior guard Marcus Barham who is averaging 16.3 points per game.  NC Central is led by junior center Raasean Davis who is averaging 15.4 points per game. For FAMU, the 7-foot junior center, Isaiah Martin leads the way in rebounds and block averaging 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.

The Rattlers are on a four-game losing streak and look primed to break that as 3 of their 4 wins are at home.  NC Central lost their last game also against the Hampton Pirates who FAMU beat earlier on in the season.

 

Preview: Florida A&M Vs. North Carolina Central women’s basketball

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M women’s basketball team (4-18, 2-8 MEAC) will take on North Carolina Central (6-16, 4-5 MEAC) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.

Both teams are coming off of gloomy losses. FAMU took on Maryland-Eastern Shore (7-16 , 4-6 MEAC) on Monday and lost 87-70. In that game, senior guard Florence Quattara led the Lady Rattlers with a game-high 26 points. Senior Ecenur Yurdakul contributed with 10 points and seven assists.

North Carolina Central took on Hampton (11-11 , 7-2 MEAC) on Monday and came up short with a score of 62-53. Sophomore forward Paulina Afriye scored her second consecutive double-double with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Lady Rattlers average 59 points per game and shoot 36 percent from the field as a team. FAMU also averages 40 rebounds per game.  North Carolina Central averages 60 points per game and on 34 percent shooting.

 

FSU Set To Face FAMU In Men’s Tennis Match-up

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State men’s tennis team will square off against cross-town rival Florida A&M on Saturday. Matches kickoff at 10 a.m. at the Scott Speicher Tennis center located on FSU’s campus.

The Seminoles are led by head coach Dwayne Hultquist and the Rattlers are led by director of tennis Rochelle Goldthreate.

FAMU limps into Saturday’s match-up hoping to bounce back from their 5-2 loss to College of Charleston last week.

The duo of Hema Hasona and Illya Skoromnyy beat Alec Angradi and Easton Thomas to secure FAMU’s lone victory in doubles 6-3. Noyreldin Adam also defeated Benedikt Henning (CoC) 3-6, 7-5 and 6-3 .  Lebelo Alex Mosehle out lasted Youssef Dabbabi (CoC) for victories of 6-3 and 6-4.

FAMU’s key players Adam, Mosehle and the doubles squad of Hasona and Skoromnyy are given the rigorous task of keeping up with the Noles, who are one of the better tennis teams in the country.

FSU boasts numerous shutout victories and two wins over nationally ranked opponents the University of South Carolina (24) and the University of Florida (8). FSU is fresh off a 4-3 upset victory over the Gators.

Guy Iradukunda, Lucas Poullain and Alex Knaff each provided a singles victory for the Seminoles.
 
Knaff defeated Andy Andrade (UF) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Poullain defeated Oliver Crawford (UF) 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) and Iradukunda defeated Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 7-6 (12-10), 6-3.
 
The combinations of Iradukunda/Knaff and Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst won all of FSU’s doubles by a score of 6-4 and 7-6, (7-3) respectively.
 
The No. 22 ranked Noles hold a record of 10-1. They are 5-0 at home, 2-1 away and 3-0 at neutral sites.
 
A few key players to look out for the Seminoles are senior twin brothers and hometown heroes Terrence and Terrell Whitehurst. Iradukunda, a senior from Gitega, Burundi is expected to play well and Sophomore Knaff is also a player to keep an eye on.
 
 
 

FAMU OPENS UP MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAY

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattlers’ new head coach Robert McCullum made his first appearance in Monday night’s home opener against the Johnson University Suns.

McCullum is a former University of Oregon men’s basketball assistant and a head coach at the University of South Florida and Western Michigan University.

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The Rattlers had yet to have a game until Monday night while the Suns came into the contest with a 0-2 record.  FAMU standout small forward Desmond Williams, a senior from Alpine, Ala., averaged 16.2 points per game while shooting 48% from the field during the 2016-17 season.

Williams continued his high scoring with 14 points in the first half alone but had four turnovers. Turnovers were the main story for the Rattlers during the first half, as they committed 13.

“We talked about it at halftime. Some of them were unforced on our part, but yet that pace lends itself to that. Quite frankly, we didn’t want to turn it over a single time in the second half, but it feels good knowing we only turned it over six times in the second half,” McCullum said.

At halftime, the Rattlers led the Suns 44-35, with Williams leading in scoring. Isaiah Martin led the team at the half with five rebounds. Marcus Barham also scored seven points and tallied five assists.

In the second half, the Rattlers began to pull away from the Suns. Williams continued his scoring outburst in the second half with 10 more points bringing his total to 24 for the game. He also led the team in rebounds with 10 as the FAMU defeated the Suns 107-71.

“I got to take it one game at a time. I scored a couple points tonight.  It felt good mentally to be in a groove, but now this game is behind me. Times, feelings and vibes change as the season goes so I just have to stay humble and approach it one game at a time and one possession at a time,” Williams said.

The win gives the Rattlers a 1-0 record as they head to Phoenix, Arizona to play the Grand Canyon Antelopes on Nov. 10.

 

 

Eagles beat Rattlers in Preseason Tune-Up

Chrystal Fernandes, Correspondent (@CFernadesFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University baseball team (FAMU) took on the Tallahassee Community College Eagles (TCC) in their annual exhibition game to start off the season.  

With very few mistakes from the players, the Rattlers took a 4-0 lead.

“We had to keep going, and not think about it,”  TCC’s Kyle Bensen said.

 

In the next two innings, both teams had difficulty scoring due to all the mistakes being made. At the top of the third inning, the Eagles scored five runs to take the lead. 

At the top of the fifth inning, Bensen hit a two-run homerun, giving the Eagles a lead of 7-4.

“It was a great feeling,” Bensen said.

The Rattlers struggled to get a good hit off the bat or to catch any balls hit from the Eagles the rest of the way. The Eagles added another run to seal the game.

With a final score of 8-4, the Eagles took home a win giving them motivation for what this new season has in store.

Rattlers take on Eagles in preseason warmup

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –Softball is back in season and what a better way to welcome it back than with a healthy preseason game between the Lady Rattlers of FAMU and the Eagles of Tallahassee Community College.  It was a game of back and fourths, as these two very talented teams battled it out.

TCC struck early in the top of the first with two runs scored by Alyssa Rosenbaum and Elisa Cecchetti. FAMU answered quickly with run of their own to tightened up the score at 2-1 to finish the first.

 

The second inning was purely defensive as neither team scored which kept things close until an explosive third inning which saw FAMU score two runs to take the lead at 3-2.

 

It looked as if FAMU finally had control of the game until TCC scored early in the fourth to tie up the score, setting it back to an even 3-3. FAMU had an answer and scored off of a double that gave them a 4-3 lead until the sixth inning.

 

In the sixth inning, TCC scored off of a single. A player was pegged in the face with a wild pass to first that allowed two of her teammates to steal home.

TCC rode that lead home as FAMU had an opportunity to win the game at the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t capitalize.

 

“This game shows us where we’re at. I’m really pleased with how we performed,” TCC head coach Patti Townsend said.

 

 

Sports Brief: FAMU vs. Hampton

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Today, FAMU (2-5) will travel to Hampton, Va. to play conference rival Hampton University (4-2). 4 p.m.

FAMU is coming off a heart-wrenching homecoming lost to North Carolina A&T and Hampton is riding high on top of a two-game win streak over Norfolk State and Savannah State.

FAMU’s passing attack will be tested early and often against Hampton’s suffocating secondary. The Pirates defense boasts a staggering 170 yards allowed through the air per game. This may trouble FAMU who averages, the majority of their yards through the air, with 190 per game.

Through six games, Hampton’s defense has given up 3,162 yards on the ground, which may serve as something FAMU can exploit in the game.

On the flip side, FAMU’s Achilles heel is their lackluster rush defense who has given up 1,230 yards. Opponents average155 yards per game on the ground against the Rattlers.

 

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a devastating loss on its homecoming, the Florida A&M Rattlers football team is on a three-game losing streak.

In his weekly press conference, FAMU head coach Alex Wood would only take questions about the team’s next game against Hampton University.

Defense remains the same

Throughout the Alex Wood era, the best part of his team has always been his tough and rugged defense.

This year, the FAMU defense ranks in the top-50 in the FCS in the following categories: #No. 10 in Pass Defense, #No. 27 in Total Defense, #No. 33 in Pass Efficiency Defense and #No. in Red Zone Defense.

“We just are playing better, and playing more inspired defense,” Wood said. “I think our personnel is a little bit older, stronger, faster, and more explosive. Our guys are playing hard. Defensive coaches are doing a good job implementing schemes that are geared towards stopping the opponents.”

Despite the high praise, Wood said his team still needs to work on stopping the run.

“We said that we wanted to stop the run, but we are not quite there yet.”

Stanley’s Progress

In the middle of season, quarterback Ryan Stanley, a redshirt freshman, has struggled with turnovers. He has thrown five interceptions midway through the season.

Facing Another Giant

Hampton is 3-0 in the MEAC. This will be the second week in a row the Rattlers face a team with a winning record.

“We got some common opponents, and different results,” Wood said. “It will be tough up there. We are really looking for to the matchup.”

Hampton averages 20.4 points per game and runs the spreads offense. He credits a big portion of that to the Pirates’ offensive line.

“They have bigger and thicker guys up front, and then zone you up defensively,” Wood said.” The running back gets behind them and pops out because no one can find him.”

Defensively, Hampton runs an efficient zone defense and only allows 18.2 points per game.

 

 

 

 

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Underdog?

Some of the greatest sports stories came from a single person or a team, it is these underdogs that have shaped the sports world one at a time.

Florida A&M is in the position of the underdog against one of the top-ranked Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams in the nation.

The Rattlers have had to tolerate losing to North Carolina in back-to-back years during the Alex Wood era.

Numbers Don’t Lie  

Florida A&M is currently on a two-game losing streak.  The overall concern with the team is the penalties and turnovers, and Wood called the performance “very frustrating”.

North Carolina A&T is undefeated, with three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victories against Morgan State, South Carolina State, and Delaware State.

One positive that has come during the losing streak is the rushing game.  The Rattler offense finished with 250 yards on the ground on Saturday against Norfolk State, the most since 2012.

“We had a good plan,” Wood said. “The kids executed that phase of the plan really well. Our offensive line did a good job of securing the line of scrimmage to create lanes for the runners to run in. Those guys did a good job getting yards after contact.”

Coach Wood hopes that this performance will continue against a North Carolina A&T defense who allow 10.2 points per game. North Carolina A&T’s well-balanced offense averages 41.7 points per game.

The positive for this underdog Rattler team is Wood has won every homecoming game thus far.

Injuries

LB Emillo Gibbs and RB Ricky Henrilus will return for the game against North Carolina A&T. The two missed Norfolk State game due to injury.