WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb.11) - The FAMU Rattlers (7-18, 5-6 MEAC) fought valiantly, but couldn't overcome Howard University (7-18, 4-8 MEAC) as the Bison eeked out a 71-69 victory over the Rattlers, here at the Burr Gymnasium on the campus of Howard University.
Amin Stevens led all scorers with 24 points on 11-of-22 shooting. He also grabbed eight rebounds in the loss. Reggie Lewis, Jeremy Dean and Nathaniel Drayton scored eight points each. Yannick Crowder grabbed seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
The game was one of runs as there were six ties and five lead changes. The two teams with identical records, were evenly matched and it showed as neither team was able to pull away significantly from the other without a run of their own to bring the game back close.
Calvin Thompson scored 15 for the Bison to lead the team in scoring. Tre Lee scored 12 points and Prince Okorah sealed the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Simuel Frazier grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Bison on the boards.
The Rattlers are still showing improvement, even in the loss. The Rattlers only turned over the basketball 14 times, while forcing Howard into 19 turnovers. The Rattlers were also perfect from the free throw line, going 16-16 on the night. Rebounding was even at 36 each for the Rattlers and Bison. The Rattlers even edged the Bison with 24 points off of turnovers as the Bison only scored 14. The Rattlers also outscored the Bison with 18 second chance points, to just nine for Howard. The largest lead each team carried was 10 points. The synopsis of the statistics is that it was a game of inches, with the Rattlers coming up just short.
Head coach Clemon Johnson was disappointed with the loss, but pleased with his team's effort. "They played very hard. I have no complaints about their performance tonight. This was a good ballgame that Howard came out on top this time," Johnson said.
The Rattlers will take Monday off and prepare for a Saturday MEAC game against the Savannah State Tiger in Savannah, Ga.