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.
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.