By Ebony Ivey/ FAMU Sports Information Intern
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 24) - In a contest against the NCA&T Aggies (17-12, 10-4 MEAC)
entering the game tied for first place in the MEAC, the Rattlers (7-23, 6-8 MEAC)
In a hard fought battle, with 38 fouls amongst both teams, the Rattlers maintained their lead at the end of both halves, capitalizing off of Aggie errors.
As a team, the NCA&T racked up 10 turnovers and 18 fouls, which the Rattlers used to shoot 84 percent from the free throw line.
Barham, Williams, and Elijah Mayes led the Rattlers in scorin combining for 62 of the team’s 83 points. Mayes, had 18 points adding seven assists. Barham shot 6-10 from the three point arc, and Williams put up 5 boards, with the duo scoring 22 points each.
Barham spoke that his efforts were attributed to head coach Robert McCullum.
“I had all the confidence from the coach," he said.
McCullum said that he warned the team about what they were up against.
“I told the guys before the game, I said this is going to be a 40 minute fight and I meant that,” he said. “They’re in first place for a reason. They’ve got very good balance.”
Williams also spoke to a play called by McCullum that commenced a hot period for the Rattlers.
“For us to be up by one, late in the game and coach call a play for me, I would feel like if I missed the shot, I was letting him down so it’s good to have a coach that’s behind you and your teammates,” he said. “I’m just glad coach trusted me to shoot the shot and I made it luckily.”
The Aggies will come off of their unexpected loss to Rattlers and travel to Daytona to play the top seeded Bethune Cookman Wildcats, Monday night at historic Moore Gymnasium.
McCullum's predictions for the upcoming MEAC tournament are favorable for the Rattlers, as he believes that odds are meant to be defied.
“Every year, there are teams that win the tournament that did not win their regular season title, and it wont change this year,” he said.
What’s next: The Rattlers will face the Bulldogs of South Carolina State on Monday at 8 PM in the Lawson Center.