Release: Monday 02/20/2012 (ET)
by Florida A&M Sports Information
ORANGEBURG, SC (Feb.20) – The tactics of the South Carolina State Bulldogs (11-13,6-7 MEAC) was simple; take Antonia Bennett and Qiana Donald out of their game and they could defeat the Lady Rattlers (19-6,12-1 MEAC). What their plan didn’t take into account was the strength of the Lady Rattlers’ bench. With 45 pints in the first half, mostly from reserves, the Lady Rattlers were content to let the reserves win the game for them. In the end, the balanced attack of the team was too much for the Lady Bulldogs to handle.
Kimberly Sparkman led the Rattlers with 19 points, while reserves Kabrina Merriweather and Jasmine Grice scored 11 points each. In all 11 different Lady Rattlers scored in the game. MEAC leading scorer Bennett scored just three points, while Donald scored just nine. The tactic of getting them into foul trouble worked, but the bench took up the slack in the win.
Coach LeDawn Gibson felt the Lady Rattlers performed well overall in the hostile environment of Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. With an obvious plan to distract Bennett at all costs, she was hit with two fouls within the first minute of the game. She and Donald ended the game with four fouls each, rendering them ineffective for the game. Along with the 11 scorers on the Lady Rattlers, were 11 players with rebounds. The win was the epitome of teamwork.
Tiarra Knotts was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs as she poured in 17 points for the game. Tiana Hemphill scored 15, while Tracey Flowers scored 11 points to round out the trio of Lady Bulldogs in double figures.
The Lady Rattlers have scored the most wins in coach LeDawn Gibson’s career at FAMU with 19, and are just one win shy of the magical 20-win mark. Their opportunity to score their 20th will come on Saturday as they return to the Alfred Lawson Center to face the Hampton Lady Pirates.