Stanley Brooks, Correspondent (@StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – With the Florida A&M University women’s basketball team starting a series of conference games in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC), the Lady Rattlers were able to get their first conference win with a 51-48 victory over the Morgan State Bears.
The Lady Rattlers (3-13, 1- 2 MEAC) struggled in the in the beginning of the first quarter both offensively and defensively. They weren’t able to get their first point of the game until almost four minutes into the game after the Lady Bears (2-14, 0- 3 MEAC) had already built a seven-point lead. The Lady Rattlers came within one point before the end of the first quarter and continued to trail for most of the game.
In the second half, the Lady Rattlers stepped up their play by playing press defense and causing turnovers. The offensive game for the Lady Rattlers started to heat up when senior guard Cedrika Sweeting made consecutive threes to give FAMU their first tie of the game in the third quarter. Head coach LeDawn Gibson commented on her shot after the game.
“Just for her to have that confidence to let it fly, boy I feel like flying with it,” Gibson said.
The team continued to make things difficult for the Lady Bears especially with junior center Shalaunda Burney-Robinson in the post outrebounding her opponents. Burney-Robinson finished with 12 total rebounds, eight of those being defensive, and made both of her free throws to give the Lady Rattlers their first lead in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rattlers went on a 6-0 after taking the lead in the fourth quarter that lasted up until the last 25 seconds of the game. It helped seal the victory and prevented the Lady Bears from making a comeback.
Coach Gibson said she was proud of how the team stepped upped their play to get the win.
“I think we are a great defensive team when we communicate,” Gibson said. “This is a very talented team and at any given night anybody can step up.”
Sweeting, with her two momentum changing threes, was one of those players. Sweeting said Gibson’s halftime message ignited her.
“What coach said at halftime really got me going,” Sweeting said. “By them giving me the ball, I knew they had confidence in me so I had to make something happen for the win.”
With a win to start conference play, the Lady Rattlers are ready to take on Savannah State University and Bethune-Cookman University in their upcoming games. Gibson was happy to talk about these series of conference games.
“We go to Savannah on Saturday then we come back to play that other school in Florida so we’re going to be ready.”
The Lady Rattlers will take on the Lady Tigers at 4 p.m. before facing off against rival Bethune-Cookman on Monday at home.