TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan.28)-The Florida A&M Women's Basketball team struggled in the final four minutes of the game, as the Delaware State Lady Hornets prevailed, 57-53 here Monday night at the Alfred Lawson Center on the campus of Florida A&M University in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference action.
FAMU (8-12, 5-2 MEAC) had three Lady Rattlers to score in double figures as Kimberly Sparkman led the team with 12 points. Jasmine Grice had her consecutive double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Andreya Lacy got involved in the action, chipping in 10 points and four assists.
DSU (7-11, 4-1 MEAC) had only one player to score in double figures as Tierra Hawkins finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Deanna Harmon and Jade Washington contributed nine points each.
It was an offensive struggle for the Lady Rattlers as they shot just 30-percent from the field (22-of-72) and 31-percent from the free throw line (5-of-16). FAMU tied the score only once, which was at the 10:00 minute mark in the second half, and never led as the Lady Hornets dismantled them in the paint, outscoring the Lady Rattlers 34-12.
The Lady Hornets had it their way the whole night as they shot 47-percent (21-of-44) from the field and 53-percent (15-of-28) from the free throw line. Despite having 25 turnovers, DSU managed to even out the rebounding total but outscored FAMU's bench 37-16.
Coach LeDawn Gibson was aware of the dominance in the paint by Tierra Hawkins but told her team they would have to find a way to gut it out.
"First of all we're small. We have got to be the smallest team in the MEAC and that's why I told them that we got to be feisty on defense, be relentless, and go after every loose ball. We've just got to work harder because we are smaller," said Gibson.
She also went on to talk about the rebounding as she said that has been the focal point all season. "It's bad when my guards are outrebounding my post players. I'm trying to get them to realize how important rebounding is. Hawkins had too many and ones and second chance points... that killed us," Gibson concluded.
Kimberly Sparkman reiterated the lack of consistency in shooting as the team struggled once again.
"As a team you feel like if you are down and you start making a run, everyone starts to feed into it but that's not the case... but as long as I can get hype and keep my team behind me we keep going," said Sparkman.
When asked if the team is progressing, Coach Gibson had no doubts her team is getting better and learning from their mistakes.
"I think we're learning, I think we're moving forward, I think we're a lot better than we were in the non-conference schedule. Everybody just has to stay positive and focus. We definitely haven't given up... I think this team can do some things in the tournament. We're young and inexperienced but it's all about being patient," said Gibson.