The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers (15-14, 9-7 MEAC) fought hard down the stretch to hold off the B-CU Lady Wildcats (13-14, 5-10 MEAC) 68-59 in their final game before the MEAC tournament.
Shekeira Copeland led the Lady Rattlers in scoring with 19 points, mostly in the paint. Copeland also grabbed eight rebounds, three offensive, which contributed to her dominant inside presence. Tameka McKelton and Qiana Donald scored 13 points each, to round out the trio in double figures. Donald also grabbed seven rebounds for the Lady Rattlers.
B-CU’s Cleneice Roberts led all scorers, hitting 12-18 from the field for a total of 26 points. Jasmine Elum scored 15 points and was the only other Wildcat in double figures. Roberts also grabbed 11 rebounds, while Sarah Bolden nabbed eight.
The Lady Rattlers withstood a charge by the Lady Wildcats by using a balanced scoring attack. Eight Lady Rattlers scored in the game. They shot 46.7 percent from the field in the first half and 50 percent from the field in the second half, for a 48.3 percent average for the game.
The Lady Rattlers were greatly assisted by their free throw shooting, as the Wildcats resorted to fouling the Lady Rattlers down the stretch to close the 10-point lead FAMU had built. The Lady Rattlers shot 4-4 from the foul line in the first half and 6-9 in the second, for a 10-13 average of 76.9 percent.
Tough defense from Donald and Copeland resulted in a poor shooting performance from B-CU. The Lady Wildcats shot jut 36.8 percent from the field for the game. The lead changed seven times, mostly in the first half and there were two ties.
The Lady Rattlers’ bench was also a key to the outcome. FAMU’s bench scored 24 points, to only four for B-CU. This win was the 14th win in a row for the Lady Rattlers over the Lady Wildcats.
What’s next for the Lady Rattlers: The Lady Rattlers, who are currently the No.5 seed at 9-7, behind the Howard University Lady Bison, who sit at 9-6, will travel to Winston-Salem this weekend to prepare for next week’s MEAC Basketball Tournament.