NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 7) - The FAMU Men's Basketball team battled valiantly during Monday's Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference showdown with Norfolk State, before bowing out in the latter stages, 72-62 at Echols Hall.
Monday's game proved to be a game of surges as there were four tied scores and three lead changes in early conference season bout, a bout which saw the Rattlers take an early five-point lead at 5-0 on a three-pointer by Kamron Reaves with 16:44 to play, befor the Spartanstied the game at 5-5 on a Derrik Jamerson jumper with 15:05 left in the half.
Nasir Core's layup at the 14:19 mark gave the Rattlers a 7-5 edge, and Iffy UmeZurike's foul shot at 11:30 made it a three-point lead at 8-5.
After NSU's Armani Branch tied the score at 8-8 with a three-pointer at the 11:23 mark, the Spartans took control for a stretch, leading by as much as five points, before FAMU rallied to and eight-point lead with 5:25 left on a layup by D.J. Jones, who scored six points during a 9-0 FAMU run.
The Spartans then tied the score at 31-31 on a Jamerosn triple with 1:51 left, then scored the final six points in the half to lead 37-31 at the break.
Norfolk opened the second half with a 15-8 run to barge ahead bv 13 points, 52-39 with 10:44 left, before the Rattlers willed their way back into contention with a 13-0 run of their own
Senior Justin Ravenel, who eventually exited the game with five fouls, started the rally with a three-pointer with 10:09 left, then capped the surge, pulling the Rattlers even with the Spartans at 52-52 on a three with 7:47 left.
Norfolk then closed out the game with a 20-10 run to pull away from FAMU.
D.J. Jones led the Rattlers with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Nasir Core and Kamron Reaves each scored 12 points, with Reaves splashing a trio of three-pointers, while Core added a pair. Ravenel scored 11 points with a pair of three-pointers, while Iffy Umezurike added nine points and eight rebounds.
Derrik Jamerson led all scorers in the game with 21 points, including four three-pointers for Norfolk State (7-10, 2-0 MEAC).
WHAT'S NEXT: The Rattlers (4-13, 1-1 MEAC) will host Savannah State Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in the Lawson Center, in the first of three straight home games.