FAMU women get first basketball win over EWC

FAMU’s Candice Williams drives up court against Edward Waters defender Mia Leite during their game last Saturday at Lawson Center.
Photo courtesy FAMU athletics



By St. Clair Murraine

Outlook staff writer

The reprieve that the FAMU women’s basketball team needed from a top-heavy schedule finally came when the Rattlers got by Edward Waters College 70-64 in their second game at home.

“It feels good to finally get a win this season,” said coach LeDawn Gibson. “We played hard. Could have played a lot better, but we will take the win.

“An ugly win over a pretty loss any day. I’m proud of these young ladies.”

FAMU clearly is work in progress, with eight freshmen on the roster that Gibson said she’s had to joggle in their first five games. Most of those were against the likes of Tennessee, Oklahoma and Florida International University.

It doesn’t get any easier. FAMU faces the University of Florida on Sunday in Gainesville.

Tough as the schedule has been, Gibson said the Rattlers are slowly finding their identity. The process has been slow, she said, because of injuries.

“We haven’t had the same starting lineup all year yet so I’m just anxious to see what this team will be when everybody gets healthy,” Gibson said. “It’s difficult but they’re a great group of young ladies. 

“We take it for what it’s worth. In basketball, people get hurt so we try to mix it up in practice.”

However, Gibson saw enough encouraging signs in the win over Edward Waters. They were 23 of 46 from the field for 50 percent shooting. They also connected on 69.7 percent from the line.

“We are definitely trying to find our identity,” Gibson said. “The freshmen are eager to get into the swing of things and I have faith in each one of them. We are going to find that identity by conference time. We are going to find it.”

During the win over the Tigers, FAMU had to rally in the second half after going to the locker room with a 42-34 halftime lead.  

The Tigers used two straight 3-pointers in the third quarter to cut the deficit by seven, 57-50, with a little more than eight minutes left in the half. They cling to the lead, 61-56, on a Candice Williams layup with 5:09 left, then Tyra James added one of her three free-throws to make it a three-possession game.

Williams scored 12 of her 16 points from the line.

“I was OK with going to the free-throw line,” she said. “They were bringing two to the ball so there was no other way to do it.”