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FAMU takes South Carolina to the wire, falls 78-71

Florida A&M guard MJ Randolph (3) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NCAA college...
Florida A&M guard MJ Randolph (3) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Seton Hall, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier)(Sarah Stier | AP)
Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 3:14 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida A&M Rattlers kept the South Carolina Gamecocks in a 40 minute dogfight but were ultimately unable to pull off the high-major upset, 78-71 in Columbia. FAMU (1-6) fought valiantly in a back and forth affair where the largest lead for either squad was just seven points.

Statistically the Rattlers outshout South Carolina (2-2) (46% to 41%) however the Fangs turned the ball over at a higher rate (18 to 11) and defensively unable to keep up with Carolina down low allowing 40 points in the paint.

Leading the way against the Gamecocks was Freshman Guard Jalen Speer. The Gainesville native notched a career high 21 points on 7-12 shooting including going 3-5 from beyond the arc. This would include a 7-0 run from Speer that would give the Fangs a 61-59 lead with less than 10 minutes to go in the contest.

On the other end the Gamecocks answered with a stellar performance from Junior Guard AJ Lawson who racked up 25 points on 9-16 shooting.

Florida A&M will return home and get a week’s rest before their home opener welcoming North Carolina Central to being MEAC play.

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