Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)
Howard’s struggles with offense in the first half gave Florida A&M an early advantage in securing a 71-62 victory Saturday night.
FAMU (5-16, 3-5MEAC) took advantage of Howard’s (5-17, 2-5MEAC) lack of shooting in the first half. Howard’s field goal percentage was only 33.3, compared to FAMU’s 52.2 percentage.
The Rattlers have had struggles with offense during the season so far, but were able to showcase in this match up their capabilities of putting up buckets.
“It’s very encouraging. It’s one of the things that coach always emphasizes,” forward Desmond Williams said. “I think we [are] just taking more shots, taking better shots, getting the best shot is one of the things we most look for. That’s one of the things that’s really helping our percentages do a little bit higher.”
FAMU shot 49 percent from the floor in the game and 46.7 percent from the three-point line. Williams led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds.
The Rattlers last match against the Bison was Jan. 4, where they snapped a 10-game losing streak when they defeated Howard 78-66.
“It’s always good to come out on the winning end,” FAMU head coach Byron Samuels said. “I knew Howard was going to come back out and fight and do what they are good at doing.”
The second half became crucial for the Rattlers because the Bison improved their shooting to 51.7 percent. The defense did not get set in good until the second half for Howard.
“In the second half they drove it hard to the rim, they weren’t making jump shots and they just decided to drive it in,” Samuels said. “We got about eight to ten points in the second half before their defense got set. And we want to run, we want to play fast, and there are teams that try to slow us down, especially in conference season.”
The top scorers for Howard was senior, Damion Collins, and junior, James Miller. Both Collins and Miller put up 14 points for the Bison.
The Bison have yet to win a conference game at home this season but has won two of three on the road. FAMU is scheduled to face Delaware State Feb. 6 in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center at 8 p.m.