TALLAHASSEE, Fla (Feb. 18) – It took an extra 10 minutes to decide the outcome, but eventually the Norfolk State Spartans (14-13, 11-2 MEAC) outlasted the FAMU Rattlers (7-19, 5-8 MEAC) by a score of 77-65.
At the end of regulation, Marcus Barham hit a rainbow three-pointer to send the game into the first extra frame. He had just missed what were to crucial free throws int he comeback effort. Still, teammate Desmond Williams, who poured in 20 points on the night, had complete confidence in Barham. “When he shot that last shot, I didn’t even move. When you miss key free throws, you want to make up for it so bad, that I knew he made make that shot. It was no doubt in my mind,” Williams said.
Williams did his damage on 8-of-17 shooting from he field, 4-of-4 on free throws and hauling down eight rebounds. Barham scored 15 points on 3-of-15 shooting from the floor, with his lone three-pointer being the clutch shot that extended the game. Elijah Mays chipped in 10 points on the night.
Zaynah Robinson, carded 20 points on an efficient 9-of-19 night from the field for the Spartans. Kerwin Okoro scored 19 points, going 5-of-10 from the three-point arc. Jonathan Wade pulled in a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
After training by nine points at halftime, the Rattlers began the second half on a methodical trend to equal the Spartans. It took all of the energy FAMU could muster, with two key players missing from the roster for varied reasons. In the end, Barham would play the entire 50 minutes of the game.
“I looked at the stat sheet…I thought I gave Marcus a rest. But, that’s the kind of athlete he is…that’s the type of player he is. He played the entire time without complaining. Tomorrow we won’t even dress for practice. We will walk though in street clothes and get treatment. We’ve got a good Hampton team coming in on Monday and no team can play well if their legs aren’t rested,” head coach Byron Samuels said.
FAMU shot just 27.3 percent from he field in the first half, but rebounded to shoot 42.9 percent in the second half. The shooting was anemic in the second overtime frame as they mustered just two points. In overtime, the Rattlers missed all six three-point attempts.
The Rattlers return to the Lawson Center on Monday to face the Pirates of Hampton University on Senior Night, with tipoff being at 8 PM. The Rattlers will honor Trey Warren who will be playing his last game in the Lawson Center.