By Morgan Culler/FAMU Sports Information Intern
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 3) – After an exhilarating regulation performance, the Florida A&M Rattlers (4-21, 3-6 MEAC) came up short against the Bison of Howard University (7-17, 4-4 MEAC) in overtime with a final score of 83-80 at Burr Gymnasium on the campus of Howard University.
Senior forward, Desmond Williams dominated for the Rattlers racking up a double-double, finishing the game with 33 points and 13 rebounds. After sustaining an ankle tweak early in overtime with 29 points, Williams quickly returned to play with a noticeable grimace on his face.
The Rattlers came out strong and with a good pace against the Bison. “I thought we got off to a good start. I liked the pace that we had especially being on the road against a team that is as explosive offensively as Howard,” said Rattler head coach, Robert McCullum.
Shooting just over 55 percent in field goals, the Rattlers went into halftime leading the Bison 36-33, but it was the Bison who came out of halftime with a scoring surge.
After an 8-2 run, the Bison went up on the Rattlers, 41-38. The largest lead of the contest came in the second half when the Bison went up by 10 with 7:33 remaining.
Freshman guard, R.J. Cole and sophomore guard C.J. Williams caused a bit of defensive trouble for the Rattlers, accounting for 46 of the Bison’s points. Williams, who scored his 1,000th career point during the game, collected 22 of those points.
The Rattlers fought their way back from another 10-point deficit with 6:25 remaining in the contest. A successful pair of free throws and jump shots by junior forward Nick Severado, Williams, and senior shooting guard Marcus Barham, would bring the Rattlers within three points of the Bison with 3:43 remaining in the game.
After a successful pair of free throws from Williams, the Bison went up by five, bringing the score to 74-69. The lead was quickly cut to two after a successful three pointer from junior guard, Justin Ravenel with 1:25 remaining in the contest.
A rebound and successful layup by Williams would tie the game for the Rattlers with 35 seconds left in regulation.
The Bison would get the ball back and after several rebounds and unsuccessful layups, the game was forced into overtime.
The Bison would be the first and last to score in the overtime period. The Rattlers did not score their first points in overtime until there was 2:10 remaining on the clock, making the score 80-75.
FAMU fought their way back to within three points of the Bison, but a failed scramble of three pointers at the end would close out the game, Howard 83, FAMU 80.
Quote from Coach
I felt very good at haltime. I thought we left 10-12 points on the floor, but we were up by three. When you’re up three points on the road in any conference game, that’s a good sign. We kind of fell behind to start the second half. We fell behind as many as 10, but came back and tied it and sent us into overtime. The guys really fought and just missed some shots and just had some breaks that didn’t go our way and unfortunately came out on the short end.