By Ebony Ivey/FAMU Sports Information Intern
NORFOLK, Va. (Mar. 8) - Following a first round win against Howard, the FAMU Lady Rattlers will advance on to the semifinal round of the MEAC tournament after a 66-64 win against the Savannah State Tigers Thursday afternoon at the Scope Arena.
“Very proud of these young ladies with their relentless play again today," said head coach LeDawn Gibson. “This team has been through a lot of adversity this year, and nobody expected us to be here but us. I’m overjoyed and very proud of the entire team."
The Lady Rattlers led from the tip by as many as 13 points at 63-50, in the game’s second half.
Shooting 63 percent from the free throw line, the Rattlers were able to fend off a late charge by Savannah State.
Florence Ouattara scored a game high 24 points, 12 of which were iced outside of the three point arc.
Shakeyrra Morrison followed suit with her second tournament double-double, dropping 12 points and grabbing 19 rebounds.
“We had a different mindset, a different approach. We had two days to rest and analyze them, so I think that helped us a little bit,” said Ouattara.
Although the Rattlers were out-boarded, 54-45, Morrison spoke to her solo rebounding performance.
“My scoring wasn’t there so I knew I had to do something else,” she said.
The Tigers, who were seeded at No.13, defeated the Rattlers, 65-47 in their previous meeting in the Lawson Center.
Second team All MEAC player Kaylee Allen was a key forceful contributor for the Tigers.
Despite a suspected ankle injury that benched her for stretches of the game, she led all scorers on her team with 22.
After halftime, the Tigers would claw their way back in to close the gap to just one point with 11 seconds remaining.
A single free throw, and a missed jumper by the Tigers would seal the deal and win the game for the Rattlers.
In less than 24 hours, the Rattlers will face top seeded NC A&T at noon in the Scope Arena.
Coach Gibson is anticipating a battle in the semifinal match-up. “Right now I think rest is most important. We have limited bodies, but were not going to make any excuses. We’re going to go out and we’re going to fight from jump ball until the buzzer goes off,” she said.