Bison Wrap Up Season With Loss to Florida A&M
RALEIGH, N.C. - Stephanie Foster scored a game-high 18 points and Q'Vaunda Curry added 15 to lead Florida A&M (FAMU) to a 69-59 win over Howard in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) women's tournament at the RBC Center. The Lady Rattlers (14-16), the Number 9 seed, will take on the Number 1 seed, North Carolina A&T State in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 10 am.
FAMU set the tone early when it reeled off an 18-0 run during a seven-minute stretch that saw them erase a 10-6 deficit and take a 24-10 lead at the 7:52 mark of the first half. The run was fueled by some hot three-point shooting as the Lady Rattlers hit on 6 of 13 from beyond the arc.
"We were much more composed than were in the loss in Washington," Florida A&M Head Coach Debra Clark said. "I think we had more of a sense of urgency. We had a lot more at stake with four seniors and we did not want this to be the end of the road."
She continued, "We knew they (Howard) were capable of putting up big numbers, so we wanted to defend. "They made several runs, but each time we responded with a good defensive play, forcing them into tough shots."
The Lady Bison (4-26), the Number 8 seed, rallied on the scoring of Shannon Carlisle, Tamaya Daniels and Asha Santee to get within 34-32 to start the second half, but that was as close as Howard would get as a combination of turnovers, missed shots and production from Foster, Curry and Taniyah Dawson, who came off the bench to score 10 points, opened the way for a 13-5 spurt that sealed the deal.
The Lady Rattlers' first half success from the three-point line enabled Foster and Curry to find seams in the middle of the Howard defense.
"Throughout the season, I tried to be more of a contributor on offense," said Foster. "I knew the team was depending on me. I needed to score, but I want to take good shots. Today, I was able to deliver when it counted."
The Lady Bison, who has had their problems with turnovers all season, committed 21 miscues that the Lady Rattlers graciously converted into 20 points. Howard was also out-rebounded, 50-38.
"After having been a part of the contest and after seeing the stats, it is clear that we got handled on the boards," said Howard Head Coach Cathy Parson. "Also, we were not very efficient with the basketball. We didn't take care of the basketball. We had 21 turnovers and my point guard (Reyna Gross) had eight of those."
Added Carlisle, "I think they (FAMU) did a better job in following and executing their game plan."
The Lady Bison were led by Carlisle, who tallied 17 points, Santee with 16 and Daniels with 12 and nine rebounds.
The Lady Rattlers and North Carolina A&T met once during the regular season and the Lady Aggies prevailed, 69-53 in Tallahassee, Fla. on February 9.