NORFOLK, VA (Mar.4) - Jasmine Grice lit up Echols Hall for 42 points to lead the FAMU Lady Rattlers (11-17, 8-7 MEAC) to a 84-76 overtime win over the Spartans of Norfolk State University (6-20, 4-11 MEAC). Grice scored 30 points in the second half to shatter the school's single season scoring record, becoming the first Lady Rattler to score 600 points in a season. The previous single game total was held by Deidra Jones, who scored 33 points against Missouri in 2009.
Kimberly Sparkman scored 10 points and was the only other Lady Rattler to score in double figures. Jamie Foreman played big in the middle of the much taller Spartans, pulling down 12 rebounds in the game.
Head coach LeDawn Gibson used a pressure defense to press the Spartans into 18 turnovers. Gibson was pleased with the overall effort of the Lady Rattlers. "I'm very pleased with how our team played. They played hard for 45 minutes. They played together, though we made some mental errors. We can take care of that part, but I am pleased with the heart and hustle they came out with," Gibson said.
Grice was ecstatic to learn of her accomplishments, though they came in the flow of the game. "It felt pretty good coming back after the Hampton loss, but I credit our coaches for sitting down with the drawing board making a good game plan for tonight. Coach Gibson stressed effort. She said if we gave it, we would like the results...and we do," Grice said.
The Spartans were led by Ebony Brown who scored 24 points, followed closely by Batavia Owens with 21 and Rachel Gordon with 12 points. Owens pulled off the double-double hauling in 19 rebounds.
Coming off a disappointing performance where they scored just 39 points against Hampton on Saturday, the Lady Rattlers were determined to show more heart. A fiery pre-game speech by interim sports information director Vaughn Wilson seemed to be a rallying point for the team, said Gibson. "I think hearing a different voice for the pregame speech was a plus for us tonight as well," she concluded.
"I was feeling it from the start. Our team played the type of ball that will make us tough to beat. My team kept feeding me the ball for wide open shots, so we had this success as a group and I hope we never forget that we can excel as a team," Grice said.
The Lady Rattlers committed 21 personal fouls, but managed to keep rotating players to keep a competitive team on the floor. FAMU was leading by six points with :23 seconds remaining in regulation. Norfolk's Ebony Brown threw up a prayer that was answered, cutting the Lady Rattlers' lead to just three. A turnover on the FAMU inbound gave the Spartans time for one more prayer, another three by Brown that took the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, it was all Grice, as she scored 12 points to seal the victory, as the Lady Rattlers came away with the 84-76 win.
The Lady Rattlers will close out the regular season on Thursday, as they will travel to Baltimore to face the Bears of Morgan State University. The team will remain in the northeast region to prepare for the MEAC basketball tournament that starts Monday in Norfolk at the Scope Arena.