Category Archives: FAMU Basketball

FAMU has 107 Student-Athletes Named to MEAC All-Academic Team

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Monday, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced the 1,366 student-athletes to make the 2018 Commissioner’s All-Academic team. Florida A&M Unversity had 107 names featured on the list, including 54 women and 53 men. 

The team is constructed of student-athletes between their junior and senior year with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. It includes all of the MEAC’s 13 institutions during the spring 2017 and fall 2017 semesters.

FAMU’s representation is a diverse bunch. On the women’s side, 24 athletes from the track and field team, nine from the basketball team, six from the volleyball team, five from the tennis team, four cheerleaders, four from the softball team and two bowling athletes made the list.

For the men, 17 from the football team, 12 from the baseball team, eight from the track and field team, eight from the tennis team, five from the golf team and three from the basketball team were on the list of honorees. 

The entire list of athletes is below:

FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY (107)

Women (54): Dicaria Alvarez (T&F), Briana Ballat (T&F), Tiara Barnes (T&F), Demetria Bethel (BWL), Cori Bostic (WBB), Mary Brooks (T&F), Shalaunda Burney-Robinson (WBB), Kierra Calhoun (CHR), Valentina Carrasco (VB), Elizabeth Clayton (TEN), Shalynn Cyprien (T&F), Taylor Darks (WBB), Lanese Davis (CHR), Whitney Farris (SB), Alelee Figueroa (T&F), Amber Fullwood (SB), Ashley Giacomucci (T&F), Alexis Gosha (VB), Amber Hannah (CHR), Akievia Hickman (CHR), Alexandria Hightower (VB), Benisha Johnson (T&F), Destiny Johnson (T&F), Shontielle Johnson (T&F), Judith Kibii (T&F), Dawn King (WBB), Caroline Kiplagat (T&F), Emmax Kiplagat (T&F), Nicole Kvitkauskas (T&F), Mia Lewis (T&F), Fridah Limo (T&F), Valeria Lopez (VB), Ginna Lopez-Chavez (VB), Karen Machisa (TEN),
Alexandria Marshall-Paul (T&F), Alicia McCray (WBB), Briana McCrimmon (WBB), Nancy Murgor (T&F), Victoria Nguyen (WBB), Florence Ouattara (WBB), Kenya Pereira (SB), April Polite (T&F), Evelyn Ralph (T&F), Tanzania Ralph (T&F), Arrice Robinson (TEN), Kiara Shaw (TEN), Olivia Simmons (T&F), Tahlia Snider (SB), Naomi Tanui (T&F), Symone Townsend (TEN), Erica Tyler (T&F), Destiny Williams (BWL), Ecenur Yurdakul (WBB), Maria Yvette
Garcia (VB)… 

Men (53): Osman Aguilera (FB), Tarique Akbar (FB), Yahia Aly (FB), Korteece Baker (T&F), Shareek Branch (T&F), William Brooks (BSB), John Capra (BSB), Elijah Casey (FB), Marquan Cromartie (FB), Prince Cunningham (GLF), Patrick Dalton (T&F), Joshua Engram (FB), Walner Espinoza (TEN), Jalen Evans (TEN), Herandre Fair-Curry (T&F), Hunter Fillingum (BSB), Jayson Francois (T&F), Aaron Hanna (T&F), Samer Hasona (TEN), Thomas Howell (T&F), Vincent Jefferies (FB), Terry Jefferson (FB), Chase Killette (GLF), Dock Luckie (FB), Mahindra Lutchman (GLF), Elijah Mays (MBB), Austin Michaud (BSB), Jacky Miles Jr. (BSB), Dennis Minefee (GLF), Octavien Moyer (BSB), Brandon Myles (MBB), Frederico Nani (TEN), Kevin Newman (FB), Desmond Noird (FB), Obinna Nwankwo (FB), Courage Okungbowa (TEN), Dallas Oliver (BSB), Shamari Pittman (FB), Michael Poole (T&F), Rodney Randers (BSB), Elijah Richardson (FB), Travis Richardson (BSB), Cameron Riley (GLF), Jacob Rios (FB), Kodi Russ (BSB), Kolton Russ (BSB), Zachary Safford (FB), Illya Skoromnyy (TEN), Nicholas Severado (MBB), Karlyn Small (TEN), Hans Supre (FB), Carlos Waitman (TEN), Garrett Wilkinson (BSB).

Florida A&M Passing Game on Display in Orange and Green Game

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Florida A&M Rattlers football team played their Orange and Green Game Saturday at the Bragg Memorial Stadium at noon. The ending score was 31-0, with the Green team coming out on top. The Rattlers passing game was the highlight of the game.

In the first half, FAMU’s passing game was clicking. On the first play of the game, Ryan Stanley, the red-shirt sophomore quarterback, threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Chad Hunter. The field goal attempt was made to give the green team a 7-0 lead. The two linked up again on a 10-yard touchdown to put the green team up 16-0.

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In the second quarter, Stanley hooked up with Kevin Troutman, the junior wide receiver, on a 46-yard pass converting a first down from their own 20-yard line. In the middle of the second quarter, Tahj Tolbert, a redshirt freshman quarterback, checked into the game. Tolbert completed a pass to convert a first down on a 30-yard pass to Christian Mastramico.

The Rattlers passing game was still on point in the third quarter. A 40-yard pass from Stanley to Troutman was one of the key plays that setup FAMU to be in the red zone. With 14:33 left in the fourth quarter, Tolbert threw a touchdown strike to Dock Luckie, the redshirt freshman wide receiver.

FAMU’s first-year head coach Willie Simmons talked about how the offense played and how the team played overall. He also talked about how he and his team are ready for this season.

“I thought today was a very productive day. I wanted to see those guys compete on both sides of the ball.It was good to see the game close. It was a good competitive game,” Simmons said. “Offense was able to put some drives together. I thought all of those guys individually made some good plays.” 

“All in all thought today was a good scrimmage, a great combination of 15 really good days of spring ball. We are looking forward to this season.”

Stanley talked about how the offense and offensive scheme is going. He also talked about the bond he and Hunter had on the field.

“We put in all of our playbook, which really gives us a head start come fall time and that helps with everybody getting the feel of each other,” Stanley said. “I’m really comfortable with this offense. I trust the coaches and all of the reads they are teaching me and I really like this offense. I fell we are going to be very explosive”

“Chad is my guy. That’s a playmaker.” Stanley said. “That’s what playmakers do. My job as a quarterback is to get the ball in his hands and he is one of our go-to guys.”

Florida A&M will open up this season against Fort Vally State Wildcats on September 1 at 5 p.m. at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

 

Craig Bowman and Byron Samuels not expected to return to FAMU next season

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida A&M men’s basketball seems to slowly spiraling down hill. Last week FAMU guard Craig Bowman confirmed that he will be transferring and after three seasons as head coach, Byron Samuels’ contract with the Rattlers will not be renewed.

“I just want a different opportunity,” Bowman told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I feel like we accomplished a lot since I’ve been here. I just wanted a new opportunity. A new chance to compete against some different talent. I just want to think everybody for the opportunity. It was a pleasure. I’ll always be a Rattler. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

After Bowman would confirm his transfer, it was released that Samuels’ contract would not be renewed.

“After review and evaluation of the Florida A&M University men’s basketball program, FAMU Athletics has decided to take its program in a different direction,” Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Continue reading Craig Bowman and Byron Samuels not expected to return to FAMU next season

Florida A&M defeats Hampton

Calvin Sykes, Correspondent (CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Florence Ouattara scored 20 points to lead Florida A&M past the Hampton Pirates 62- 44 on Monday at Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Shakerrya Morrison had 14 points and Cedricka Sweeting added 10 for FAMU (10-16, 8-5 MEAC).

Monnaz Finney- Smith, who ranks number 12 in scoring in the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference, scored 16 points to lead Hampton.

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The Rattlers outrebound the Pirates 55 to 36 behind the second leading rebounder of the MEAC Morrison.

“I love how gritty [Morrison] is on the boards. She just loves to rebound and I mean she doesn’t need to score. She just has a nack for the ball. She is just relentless on the boards, but my goal for her is to be first in the MEAC standings for rebounding,” FAMU head coach LeDawn Gibson said.

Florida A&M was held to 9 of 31 shooting from the field in the first half as opposed to the Pirates only making 8 of 28. Florida A&M out- shot the Pirates from the three point line – 64 to 50 percent.

Hampton pulled within 26 – 23 on a 3-0 run, but Ouattara made a three pointer to extend the Rattlers’ lead. FAMU led 29-23 at halftime after leading by as many as 11 points at the mid-way point in the first half.

The Rattlers took control after of the game after Hampton’s brief burst. The Rattlers went on a 13-6  run to push the lead to 42-29 and held on for the rest of the game.

Because it was Senior Night for FAMU, it was their final home game of the season. The Rattlers will next play South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C. on Saturday. Tip-off will be at 2 p.m.

Hampton gives the Rattlers their third loss in a row

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M men’s basketball team has continued to struggle offensively this season. Monday night the Rattlers (7-18, 5-7 MEAC) had another disappointing night in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center. FAMU was defeated 72-55 by the Pirates of Hampton University on Senior Night. The loss is the third in a row for the Rattlers.

The only senior on the FAMU men’s team is forward Trey-Cary Warren. In honor of Senior Night, Warren started. Warren put five points on the board for the Rattlers and 2 rebounds, an offensive, and defensive.

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FAMU shot 33.9 percent from the field, whereas Hampton shot a little better at 47.2 percent. The Rattlers were heavy on the free-throw line, shooting 71.4 percent. Head coach Byron Samuels said the goal is to get to the free-throw line at least 25 times. Shooting 15-21 from the free-throw line was not enough to secure a win over the two-time defending champions of the MEAC.

“We try to be aggressive, we got there. Our goal every game is to get there at least 25 times and shoot at least 75 percent, so we accomplished that feat,” Samuels said. “The greater issue is we didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor.”

Hampton (11-14, 8-4 MEAC), who stands third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, did not make the match-up against the Rattlers easy. Freshman guard Jermaine Marrow put up 31 points for the Pirates. The Pirates had 39 rebounds, AJ Astroth and Kalin Fisher had seven each.

“I thought we defended pretty well for the majority of the game, but certainly the Marrow kid gets hot, hits two or three 3s in a row,” Samuels said. “Hampton is a good team, it’s a good basketball program. They’re used to winning, finding ways to win.”

Junior forward Desmond Williams offensively and defensively ran the court. He had 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers are 22-11 against Hampton, and the Pirates have won each of the last five meetings between the two teams. Last season, the Rattlers loss in overtime 71-65.  Overall, Hampton has won seven of the last nine games against FAMU, and the Pirates are 7-6 against the Rattlers on the road.

“We just didn’t have it tonight,” Samuels said. “I probably didn’t do my best job getting our guys prepared with the turnaround. We tried to rest, keep our legs fresh. Hats off to Hampton, but I’m hurting for our guys, disappointed. We’ve got to find a way to get some energy and continue to fight.”

This is the last game for the Rattlers at home, and they have two more until the MEAC Tournament in March. FAMU will face South Carolina State on Feb. 25 and rival Bethune-Cookman on March 2.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M VS Hampton

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M women’s basketball (9-16, 7-5 MEAC)  and men’s basketball (7-19, 5-8 MEAC) teams will host a doubleheader against Hampton University Monday in Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Saturday, FAMU took on the Spartans of Norfolk State. The women were able to secure a 59-51 victory over the MEAC’s second-place team. It took the game to go into double overtime to determine the outcome of the men’s game. NSU outlasted the Rattlers, winning 77-65.

Last season, the Lady Rattlers were able to bring home a 66-59 victory over the Lady Pirates. The men were not able to secure a win over Hampton in a 71-65 loss for FAMU.

Khadejra Young was the leading scorer and rebounder for FAMU. She had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Rattlers. Malcolm Bernard led the men’s team in points and rebounds as well. Bernard had 23 points with 11 rebounds.

Hampton’s women are 14-11 and the men are 11-14. Both teams are 8-4 in the MEAC.

Monday’s game will also serve as Senior Night for the Rattlers. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid FAMU ID. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Lady Rattlers Upset Elite Conference Foe

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent ( @StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M University’s women’s basketball team surprised many people with their 59-51 win over Norfolk State University. The Lady Rattlers held their ground against NSU, who are the number two team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Senior guard Florence Ouattara led the team in scoring with 12 points while senior forward Alicia McCray and junior guard Shakeyrra Morrison both put up double-doubles with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

“I thought Alicia played a heck of a game. I’ve been waiting on Alicia to do this all year and she just played an all-around great game tonight, she was just fearless.,” head coach LeDawn Gibson said.

 

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McCray filled up the stat sheet with her performance in the paint. 10 of her 13 rebounds were defensive rebounds and she got all of the team’s six blocks.

The Lady Rattlers turned the ball over 21 times but managed to hold the Spartans to 25% shooting from the field for the night and only three of NSU’s players were able to score more than six points.

“I think their heads and hearts are in the right place. I think going into the end of the season we’re in the right place mentally and physically,” Gibson said.

The last three games of the season are all conference games and two of them are against top-four teams in the MEAC.

“We got two more home games to incite the fans and to get some more people out there to support us for the MEAC,” Gibson said. “We just got to go out there and be fearless and try to put ourselves in a better situation for the MEAC tournament.”

The Lady Rattlers look to end their season on another win streak after getting their first win since North Carolina A&T snapped their five-game win streak.

“I think we have a great team. We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride, we lost two last week that I don’t think we should’ve lost but we did. We’re just trying to bounce back this week and move forward and continue to work,” Gibson said.
The Lady Rattlers play their next game on Monday against Hampton University. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.