TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 26) – The Florida A&M's Basketball team survived a close fought game as they defeated the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks, 55-54 here Saturday at the Al Lawson Center. The thrilling game came down to the last possession, with the Rattlers holding a one-point lead. The Hawks had possession with 14 seconds remaining. Their attempt would not fall, as the Rattlers and Hawks scrambled on the floor for the loose rebound until time expired, giving the Rattlers a thrilling victory.
FAMU (6-14, 3-3 MEAC) had a pair of Rattlers to score in double figures as Jamie Adams led the team with 18 points and four assists. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem chipped in 12 points and five rebounds.
UMES ( 1-14, 1-3 MEAC) had one player to score in double figures as Kevin Mays finished with a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds. Mays also contributed six points and a season-high in rebounds with 15.
Both teams shot similarly from the field as the Hawks shot 28-percent (17-59) and 58-percent (18-31) from the free throw line, while the Rattlers shot 34-percent (19-55) and 50-percent (12-24) from the free throw line.
FAMU struggled in multiple stat columns as they were outrebounded 57-35, bested in second chance points 17-7 and bench scoring 22-13. They played solid defense for the most part, pressuring the Hawks into 18 turnovers as they had 12 steals.
There were eight lead changes in the gameand the score was tied seven times. The Rattlers' largest lead was 10 with 14:26 left in the game.
Head coach Clemon Johnson said he noticed how the Hawks rebounding game plan was succeeding in the second half and strategized against it, predicting they were going to go back to it for the final play. "I had no doubt in my mind that whoever had the ball was going to shoot it so they could send those four people to the glass to rebound... that's the way they play. We're small so I told my guys to do their best and block out," said Johnson.
Jamie Adams made consecutive clutch shots to win the game and knew that he had to make big plays to come away with a win.
"I was just in a rhythm, I felt like my range was unlimited I can shoot from anywhere. I'm not going to get a lot of the calls I got in the beginning of the season so I had to find a way to be effective," said Adams.
The Rattlers return to action on Monday at 7:30 p.m. as they take on the Hornets of Delaware State in MEAC action at the Lawson Center.