Category Archives: FAMU Basketball

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.

Rattlers fall short to the Hornets in OT

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter) 

Junior forward Derrick Dandridge led the Rattlers with 17 points in an overtime game against Delaware State Monday night in Al Lawson Multipurpose Center that ended in disappointment for the Rattlers. Delaware State (7-18, 4-6 MEAC) took an 80-77 overtime victory against Florida A&M (6-16, 4-5 MEAC).

The Hornets were defeated 81-68 at home by the Rattlers on Jan. 28, becoming DSU’s fifth straight loss. Desmond Williams also added17 points for the Rattlers. Dandridge also led his team with nine rebounds.

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Although the Rattlers and Hornets had the same amount of 3-point attempts, DSU was able to convert at a higher clip.  Delaware State shot 41.7 percent beyond the arc, compared to the Rattlers’ 29.2 percent.

Junior guard Marcus Barham put up the first three-pointer for the Rattlers within minutes of the game starting. Barham made three of eight of his attempted 3-pointers. The teams battled on the court all night in three-pointers, the final one coming with 21.1 remaining.

“They were hot offensively from the start, but we were able to sustain it throughout the game,” FAMU head coach Byron Samuels said. “I thought we had our chances and we just couldn’t warm up offensively.”

Williams tied the game at 66 from the free-throw line. Williams, who has struggled with free throws this season, manged to successfully get half of his free-throws in the basket.

“Every possession is very crucial, from the first half, if you miss, you have the chance to dive on the floor. If you don’t get that and you don’t do it, that can have a ripple effect,” Williams said. “So every step or every misstep is very crucial to the whole outcome of the game.

At the free-throw line, the Rattlers shot just over 50 percent, going 14-21.

“The key for us is getting there. If we keep getting there, the percentages are going to keep going up,” Samuels said. “Des[mond] is a tough-minded kid, and I’ve got confidence in our guys.”

In OT, the Hornets shot 100 percent from the field, beyond the arc, and in free-throws. The Rattlers were not able to make any of the three, three-pointers they attempted.

“Well we wanted to get the best shot we got, we got a wide open shot. You get the best shot you can get and it happened to be the shot that we took,” Samuels said. “It just didn’t work out for us tonight.”

DSU had just ten more defensive rebounds than the Rattlers in the second half. FAMU fought against the trees in trying to secure another win against Delaware State.

“I mean we [have] played against a lot of taller teams before. I just try to do what I can down there and not back down. I mean I don’t know, I don’t really see it as a problem if somebody else is tall.” Dandridge said.

The Hornets junior guard, Kavon Waller, led his team with a game-high 19 points. Waller also had seven of the 28 rebounds for the Hornets.

The Rattlers will face the Aggies of North Carolina A&T University Feb. 11 at 4 p.m.

FAMU Depth and Size Too much for Delaware State

Calvin Sykes, Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Shakerrya Morrison’s double-double to led the Florida A&M Rattlers women’s basketball team past Mikah Aldridge and the Delaware State Lady Hornets 69-61 on Monday afternoon in AL Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

The Rattlers starting five combined for 38 out of 59 points scored in the game. Aldridge scored 13 points with four rebounds and 3 assists for the Hornets.

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Rattlers shot 35.2 percent from the field and took 43 shots from the free throw line, converting 25. The Hornets shot 35.8% percent and made all 14 of their shots at the charity stripe.

“I don’t think we shot well as a team tonight, but they made it when it counted,” LeDawn Gibson said. ” As a coach, I am very pleased but we have a lot of work to do but we won at the end of the day.”

FAMU dominated the glass (53-38) behind Morrison’s 21 rebounds.

“It was big but I really did want 63 rebounds,” Gibson said. “At the same time, I am pleased with the 53 rebounds but we have to keep working.  I recruited [Murray]  because she brings energy and the determination on the boards.”

FAMU led by as many as 11 points during the final moments of the game before the Hornets cut the lead to one. The Rattlers responded with a 5-0 run.

This win pushes the Rattler’s winning streak to five games and hopes to move higher in the MEAC standings with six games left. The next game will be played against North Carolina A&T at the Corbett Sports Center on Feb. 11.