HAMPTON, Va. (Jan. 27) – The Florida A&M Men’s Basketball team took command in the second half Saturday, then outlasted the homestanding Hampton Pirates, 75-71 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest at the HU Convocation Center.
FAMU (4-18, 3-3 MEAC) won their second straight game Saturday with clutch play on both ends of the floor, and deadly shooting, particularly from senior guard Marcus Barham.
The Melbourne, Florida native finished with a game-high 24 points, highlighted by a 6-of-9 shooting performance from three-point distance. Fellow senior, forward Desmond Williams dodged foul trouble to finish with 19 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Justin Ravenel rounded out the trio with 13 points, splashing three triples on the night.
Also getting in some clutch play was senior guard Elijah Mayes, who finished with eight points, two points coming off a pair of game-sealing free throws, along with seven assists and a pair of critical defensive rebounds late in the game.
The Rattlers trailed, 32-30 at the half in a game which started out with numerous lead changes and ties, but the gritty FAMU crew was a determined bunch, overcoming Hampton’s 13-8 flurry to open the second half for a 45-38 advantage, thanks to the scoring of Barham, Williams and Ravenel.
A Barham triple closed the gap to 45-41 with 16:18 left, and moments later, a Williams jumper put the Rattlers on top, 51-50, followed seconds later by a Ravenel three-pointer for a 54-50 Rattler lead.
The two clubs traded baskets with Barham splashing back-to-back triples for a 60-56 lead with just over eight minutes left, igniting a pi8tched battle which lasted the rest of the game.
FAMU finally got a bit of breathing room as back to back jumpers by Barham and Mayes gave the Rattlers an eight point lead at 64-56 with 6:36 left.
Barham nailed a pair of foul shots with 4:59 left for a 66-61 lead, then came back with a three-pointer to put the Rattlers ahead once more by eight points, 69-61 with 4:12 to go.
The Pirates (7-13, 2-3 MEAC) made a 6-0 run capped by a Trevond Barnes foul shot to a 69-67 count with 2:32 left, but a jumper by Desmond Williams snapped the run, giving FAMU a 71-67 lead.
Williams would put the Rattlers up by four again, 73-69 on a jumper with 34 seconds left, then Mayes sank two foul shots with 24 seconds left, for a 75-69 lead, all but sealing the win for FAMU.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Rattlers head over to Norfolk, Virginia for a Monday night encounter with the Norfolk State Spartans. Tip time will be 7:30 p.m. in Echols Hall.