By Ariel Bedford
The FAMU Lady Rattlers’ winning streak nearly matches the losing streak for the Lady Eagles of North Carolina Central University. So it was no surprise that FAMU was leading the Eagles 11-4 with just under 16 minutes into the game….
What was surprising were the silly turnovers that FAMU committed that limited them from widening their lead. A traveling call on guard Kimberly Sparkman as well as a double dribble call on another FAMU player gave the Eagles extra possessions to keep it close in the early parts of the game. But Tameka McKelton’s threes and Antonia Bennett’s steady play kept them in front and in control most of the afternoon, and senior Qiana Donald’s play on the interior balanced out the FAMU offensive attack. FAMU took a commanding 52-29 lead at the half off of the aforementioned Sparkman’s running 12-footer over several Lady Eagles defenders.
In the first half, FAMU got nearly every shot they wanted on offense, and when they did miss, a timely offensive rebound and put-back was surely to follow. The second half was more of the same, with FAMU’s collapse defense forcing the Lady Eagles to commit offensive fouls and turnovers that translated into extra scoring possessions on the other end. One of the many highlights from the half included a scintillating drive by McKelton that ended with a 3 point conversion via lay-up, foul, and free throw make by the Senior from West Palm Beach Florida.
With eight and a half minutes left in the contest, Center Qiana Donald got her bench up to their feet in jubilation when she launched and made a wide open three at the left key near the FAMU sideline. The stat-stuffing performance of Bennett was what ultimately carried FAMU to their blow-out victory, since her ability to not only handle the ball and initiate offense for her teammates but also dominate on the defensive end and generate easy baskets totally over-shadowed her match-up with NCCU Guard Chasidy Williams.
Here are post-game interviews with FAMU HC Gibson, along with Senior Antonia Bennett, Qiana Donald, and Tameka McKelton:
Star Antonia Bennett finished with 26 points on 12-20 shooting from the field. She nearly recorded a quadruple-double with 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals for the contest. Tameka Mckelton was the third-leading scorer behind Qiana Donald’s 23 points, shooting 3-7 from 3 point range to notch 22 on the scoreboard. The Lady Rattlers will play next on Monday against North Carolina A&T, hoping to extend their winning streak to fourteen….