Gibson hopes adversity sparks another win streak for Rattlers

By St. Clair Murraine

Outlook staff writer

Even in defeat, coach LeDawn Gibson managed to find a little inspiration.

Losing to Morgan State could motivate the FAMU women’s basketball team to start another win streak, she said. FAMU had won its last two games on the road at Hampton and Norfolk State.

“Hopefully this will get us refocused,” Gibson said, after the Rattlers fell 67-62 in a game that was tied three times in the first 10 minutes of the second half. “We can’t dwell on it.

“Tough loss; but we did it to ourselves. They beat us because they played hard.”

FAMU came into the game with seven victories in its last nine games. That left FAMU (9-9) with a 3-2 MEAC record needing one win to move into first place of the MEAC standings.

But even a win over Coppin State this past Monday wouldn’t get them back to the top.

Early on against the Bears, the Rattlers seemed lethargic; However, Gibson said the flatfooted play wasn’t the result of fatigue from their recent two-game road trip.

“I didn’t sense that,” she said. “It’s just something we have to work on and fix. We just didn’t play like we wanted to win.”

The Bears’ reserves provided the spark that they needed, scoring 39 points off the bench. Morgan also was much stronger from the foul line, nailing 19 of 27 attempts. FAMU hit 11 of 22 free-throws.
But the Rattlers struggled even more on the board, especially on the defensive end where the Bears beat them 30-25.

The Bears went on an 8-0 run and began to widen the gap going into the final 10 minutes, beating the Rattlers at the free-throw line and long range. FAMU answered with a mini run of its own to make it a two-possession difference.

At the 2:29 mark of the closing half, Khadejra Young drew a foul on a layup but missed the foul shot. That cut the deficit 59-53, but Farrar Braennan hit two from the line for the Bears. She added a layup with under one minute left to shut the door on the Rattlers.

Young, who came into the game averaging 13.2 points per game, finished with a double – 20 points and 10 rebounds. Olivia Antilla scored 13 and Alicia McCray added 10.
Braennan scored a game-high 21 for the Bears.

Young scored nine of her points by halftime when FAMU trailed 32-28. But she didn’t score a point through the midway point of the first half, as Morgan built a five-point lead.

But the Rattlers got enough scoring from Alicia McCray and Olivia Antilla to keep the difference at just one possession – for at least two of the final four minutes of the half.

“We were not on our game so we had to do all the small things that make a difference,” Gibson said. “Just the small things I think would have made a difference in the game
“We just have to go back to the drawing board and fix it.”

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