TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - North Carolina A&T overcame a 14-point halftime deficit with a torrid second half and continued their clutch shooting in the overtime periods to nip Florida A&M, 80-78 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference basketball affair in Gaither Gymnasium.

Florida A&M (8-14, 4-5 in MEAC) knocked down eight three-pointers in the first half en route to a 40-26 halftime lead, despite the Aggies' 52 percent floor shooting performance.

However, the Aggies, known for their three-point shooting, turned on the juice in the second half, cashing in seven of 12 long-range shots, including a five-for-eight effort in the second half to spark a 40-26 run, forcing a 66-66 deadlock after forty minutes.

A&T, which shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half, to 45.8 percent for FAMU, kept the iron hot, hitting 50 percent of their floor shots, including a pair of triples, to outscore the Rattlers, 14-12 over the two extra periods.

Both clubs managed five points in the first overtime to go to a second extra period deadlocked at 71-71. A&T won the second frame, 9-7, on a pair of Thomas Coleman free throws with 1.1 seconds left, with the score tied, 78-78.

It was Coleman's dunk with 17 seconds left in the first overtime that erased a 71-69 FAMU lead, which came on an Akini F. Akini jumper with 1:37 left.

FAMU's Leslie "L.C." Robinson led all scorers with 25 points, knocking down seven three-pointers, six in the first half Saturday. He cooled off considerably in the second half though, managing one three-pointer in eight tries.

Lamar Twitty and Joe Ballard each had 15 points, while Akini F. Akini finished with 12 points. Twitty led FAMU with eight rebounds, with Ballard pulling down seven rebounds, while dishing out nine assists.

Steven Rush led A&T (12-10, 6-3) with 21 points. Ed Jones finished with 17 points, Jason Willis added 14 points and Glenn Nelson rounded out the Aggies' double-digit scorers with 12 points.

The Rattlers, which dropped their third game in a row Saturday, will continue their current MEAC home stand Monday night against Norfolk State. Tipoff will be 7:30 p.m.


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