NORFOLK, VA (Mar. 10) – The 2016-17 season ended for the FAMU Lady Rattlers (13-19) as they were defeated 59-42 to the No.1 seeded Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (21-9) today at the Scope Arena.
Guard Florence Outtara led the Rattlers as the only player in double-digit scoring with 11 points. Senior forward Alicia McCray scored nine points, while Shakerrya Morrison chipped in eight.
“We’ve got an overall young team here. None of them have the experience of going this far and we saw first hand how each team steps it up when it comes to the MEAC Tournament. We played hard today. We set the pace early in the game, but somewhere along the way, the experience of B-CU solved the problems we were creating for them. I am proud of how our team battled. I thank the seniors who played their last game today and I challenge all the players who are coming back to remember this moment. Remember the difference in losing today and having an opportunity to play in the championship tomorrow,” head coach LeDawn Gibson said.
Morrison continued her torrid streak on the boards, reeling in eight rebounds on the day. Victoria Nguyen pulled down five rebounds, while McCray also grabbed five.
The Wildcats were paced by Kendra Cooper with 12 points, while Emily Williams would round out the duo of players in double figures with 11 points. Ashanti Hunt and Kailyn Williams each pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for B-CU.
The Lady Rattlers started the game in a full court press, forcing the Wildcats into turnovers. FAMU went up by as much as nine points in the first half. but B-CU closed out the half with a 25-22 advantage.
FAMU would never regain the lead as B-CU led the game for 29 minutes. Midway through the third quarter, B-CU began to mount their lead which FAMU could not answer.
“It’s a disappointing loss, but overall I’m proud of my young ladies and how they fought. No one expected them to get this far,” Gibson added
FAMU shot just 22.4 percent for the game from the field, while B-CU shot 41.4 percent. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Lady Rattlers 48-39. The back and forth game was tied three times and had three lead changes.
The game was the ninth time the Lady Rattlers had made it to the MEAC semifinal round. FAMU is now 29-24 in MEAC tournament play, winning titles in 1995 and 1999.