BALTIMORE, Md. (Jan. 26) – The FAMU Men’s Basketball team rode a second half surge led by Justin Ravenel and Tracy Hector to overtake the Coppin State Eagles for a 72-70 road win in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play at the Coppin Center Saturday afternoon.
Ravenel, a senior guard from Lithonia, Georgia, finished with a team-high 28 points, which featured five (5) three-pointers, three coming in that 47-point second half scoring surge which helped overtake Coppin State. Junior guard Tracy Hector added 16 points, eight rebounds and a triple of his own to the comeback effort.
Freshman MJ Randolph, and senior Isaiah Martin each scored eight points, with Randolph hauling down a team-high nine rebounds. Kamron Reaves scored six points, dishing five assists, while DJ Jones finished with four points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
FAMU (7-14, 4-2 MEAC) trailed 33-25 at the half, after a back-and-forth opening frame, which saw five tied scores and seven lead changes, with the Rattlers’ largest first half edge coming at 10-7 with 12:08 left before the break.
Coppin State (3-19, 3-4 MEAC) went on a 26-15 scoring tear over the final 12 minutes of the period for the 33-25 halftime advantage, but could not get away from the Rattlers, who opened the second half with an 13-8 run to close to three points, 41-38, on Tracy Hector’s jumper with 15:09 left.
A Hector jumper with 14:09 left sliced the Eagles’ edge to 42-40, before Dejuan Clayton’s layuip at 13:20 pushed CSU back up four points, 44-40.
Isaiah Martin’s dunk at 12:40 made it a two-point game again at 44-42, but Chad Andrews splashed a triple to give Coppin at 47-42 lead with 11:35 left.
Turnovers hampered the Rattlers’ in the second half, as several Coppin State scores came off FAMU miscues. Overall, FAMU committed 24 turnovers on the day, which led to 21 Coppin State points.
However the determined Rattlers clawed back into contention with an 11-5 run led by Justin Ravenel, Hector and M.J. Randolph to take a one-point lead, 53-52 on a pair of Ravenel free throws.
Coppin regained the lead briefly at 57-53, but the Rattlers behind Ravenel and Hector forged a 62-57 lead with 4:44 left on Ravenel’s fifth triple of the game.
Hector kept the run going with a three-pointer with 2:39 left pushing FAMU to a 66-57 edge, then moments later, Ravenel’s slam dunk extended the Rattler lead back to nine points at 71-62 with 31 seconds left.
But the Eagles had one last flurry left, using time outs, fouls and clutch baskets to close to one point, 71-70 on Lamar Morgan’s old fashioned three-point play (layup, free throw) with three seconds left.
Kamron Reaves’ first foul shot with one second left however, provided the final margin in the game.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Rattlers, who have not enjoyed the rarified air of the MEAC’s upper division since 2007, will put their share of third place (tied with NCCU) on the line Monday night (7:30) against Morgan State at historic Hill Field House.
THE RAVENEL WATCH: Justin Ravenel moved closer to the FAMU career three-pointers made mark of 279, set by Terrence Woods over two seasons (2003, 2004), when he led Division One in splashes… Ravenel’s five triples Saturday boosted him to 249 career shots made from distance, leaving him 30 shy of tying Woods’ standard with 10 regular season games left…. Ravenel has been on something of tear of late, having splashed 46 of his last 99 shots from distance since an 0-for-5 performance against South Alabama on Dec. 1….. Overall, Ravenel has hit 70 of his 152 three-point tries after Saturday’s game.