TALLAHASSEE, FL. (Feb. 4)–The Florida A&M Rattler Basketball team (6-16) used a team effort to best the Howard Bison (5-18), handing the Bison their fourth consecutive loss.
Leading early on, the Rattlers fought to keep their lead against the Bison, who they defeated 78-66 on Howard’s home court in their first conference game on Jan. 4th.
Junior forward Desmond Williams led the team with 19 points, one steal, four assists and seven rebounds on the board well before the end of the first half. Junior Marcus Barham knocked down 14 points of his own, along with one rebound, two assists and a block.
“I thought we were really good defensively, our guys were locked in… I thought we did a good rebounding effort; our guys were scrapping for the ball… So all the little things that we talked about, I thought our guys did very well in the first half,” Head Coach Byron Samuels said.
The Rattlers were able to use the momentum that they had in the first half to push them to a 65-52 win against the Bison without any dry spells along the way.
“We’re trying to mix up our defense, we’re trying to be aggressive when we got stops, push the ball in transition… We want to run… We want to run and play fast,” Coach Samuels said.
The Rattlers shot 49 percent and over 45 percent from the three-point line, allowing them to clinch the win over the Bison.
“I think we’re just taking more shots and taking better shots… Getting the best shot is one of the things that we most look for and that’s one of the things that’s really helping our percentages get higher.” Sophomore Justin Ravenel, who finished the game with 13 points, three rebounds and three steals, said.
The victory was a true team effort for the Rattlers, who were able to keep the whole lineup involved throughout the entire game.
“We made it a big focus for those, everyone not in the game, on the bench to stay involved.” Junior forward Desmond Williams said. “When we are on defense… And those five on the court don’t see things but those on the bench see it, and they talking to us… That helps the five on the court perform at a higher level,” he added.