By FAMU Sports Information intern Cornell Wedge
TALLAHASSEE, FL (Feb.26) - The Florida A&M Rattlers (8-19, 5-8 MEAC) squeaked past the South Carolina State Bulldogs (5-21, 1-12 MEAC) in a double overtime thriller with a 75-72 win Monday night at the Al Lawson Center on senior night.
The Rattlers got contributions from many tonight through the long, tough contest. Nine out of the 11 players that suited up contributed minutes for the Rattlers. They contributed meaningful minutes, as the Rattlers' supporting cast was a key reason for the win. FAMU outscored SCSU's bench 29-6. Muhammad Adul-Aleen led the bench scoring with 17 points.
Coach Clemon Johnson spoke about the instructions he gave Abdul-Aleem in his breakout game. Johnson said, "I don't want you settling for a three. I want you to get to the basket."
Reggie Lewis led the team in points with 21 and minutes with 43. He spoke about his performance. Lewis said, "I was just being patient, letting the ball come, swing it around and then I would be able to knock down the open shot."
The game was tight from the jump ball to the final buzzer. In the first half, there were three ties and eight lead changes. By the end of the game, there were 13 ties and 23 lead changes.
Matthew Hezekiah lead the way for the Bulldogs with 13 points in the first half. But, the Rattlers' defense contained Hezekiah in the second half and overtimes as he finished with only 4 points for the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs struggled from the behind the arc shooting 0-15. They did not struggle in the paint, outscoring the Rattlers 36 to 22. SCSU's Darryl Palmer made most of those points down low with his athleticism. Palmer thrilled the Lawson Center crowd with three thunderous dunks, all off alley-oops. He finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
The Rattlers will play next Saturday, Mar. 02 against the Hampton Pirates in Hampton, Va. At 6 p.m.