FAMU basketball teams swept against Southern in doubles in SWAC home opener
SWAC’s home debut didn’t go well for Florida A&M basketball as Southern left the Lawson Center with a sweep on Saturday.
In the first match, the Jaguar women won 71-55. Later, the men closed things out with a score of 80-66.
The FAMU women are now 1-1 in SWAC play and 1-12 overall. The men’s loss drops them to 0-2 in conference. Their season record is 2-11.
South 71, FAMU 55 (women)
Southern used a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter to claim the blowout victory.
The one-two punch from Dylan Horton and Anisja Harris made their usual numbers for the Rattlers.
Horton had a game-high 25 points. Harris was next with 17.
However, that was not enough to withstand the onslaught of the Jaguars.
Below are the 3 best takeaways in the game for the Rattlers.
Unbalanced score for FAMU
Horton and Harris combined for 42 of FAMU’s 55 points.
The Rattlers’ second leading scorer was Staysha Allen. She added nine to the team’s final tally.
Pillow attributed the lack of overall production, particularly in the fourth quarter, to fatigue and minimal depth.
Southern’s bench outscored FAMU 29-2. That one basket for the Rattlers was a jumper by Caylan Jones.
“We were running out of numbers. It was a two-point game at the end of the third quarter. They had a run and we couldn’t recover from it,” the women’s head coach said. FAMU, Shalon Pillow.
“Southern are a great offensive team. We ran out of gas at the end. We weren’t mentally strong enough to tie in and get saves.”
Botched execution by the Rattlers
FAMU did a poor job of taking care of the ball. This inefficiency resulted in 19 turnovers against nine assists.
Southern capitalized on those errors, scoring 25 points on gifted possessions.
“It’s growing pains. We’re going to get better. Southern is a great defensive pressure team. We turned the ball around a lot. We still have some work to do on that,” Pillow said.
One bright spot for the Rattlers came in the rebound area. They collected 33 against 25 for Southern.
Horton had a record nine boards. Allen and Jones had six each.
South 15 18 12 26 71
FMU 17 11 15 12 55
From South: Nakia Kincey 16 pts, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals; Genovea Johnson 14 pts., 5 rebounds, 2 assists; Amani McWain 12 pts, 5 rebs.
FAMU: Dylan Horton 25 pts, 9 rebs., 4 assists, 3 steals; Anisja Harris 17 pts, 4 rebounds, 2 assists; Staysha Allen 6 points, 6 rebounds.
South 80, FAMU 66 (men)
Just like the women, it was a close match at halftime. Southern held a 36-35 lead going into intermission.
The Jaguars surged after the break, winning 57-43 near the midpoint of the second half.
“I felt good where we were at half-time. They won the first four minutes of the second half. It got them going, they built up momentum and never looked in back,” FAMU head coach Robert McCullum said.
MJ Randolph finished with 30 points and six rebounds for the Rattlers.
However, he was unimpressed with his score. Randolph wants the team strong for Grambling State on Monday.
“I had seven turnovers. It’s bad. We have a saying as a team – when we win it’s us and when we lose it’s me,” Randolph said.
“I can’t get too high or too low. We can’t put our heads down. It’s about coming back and being ready for the next game.”
Here are the 3 best takeaways for Rattlers.
Mixed effort in defense
Defensive pressure has been the Rattlers’ calling card under McCullum.
But in this game, the typical display of dominance was nowhere to be found.
Southern shot 47% from the field and 57% from 3-point range.
Nine players on his 12-player active roster have put points in the digital scorer book.
Jayden Saddler led the Jaguars with 14 of 7 of 13 shooting. He also had seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
No long distance call
FAMU struggled mightily from behind the arc, going 2 out of 12.
This inability to connect long distance further allowed Southern to drift away from the dash.
“We thought we looked great – especially in the first half. Going 2 for 12 without taking care of the basketball makes it harder. Overall we didn’t play well enough to win “, said McCullum.
South 36 44 80
FMU 35 31 66
From South: Jayden Saddler 14 pts, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals; Brion Whitley 12 pts., 3 reps.; Isaiah Rollins 12 pts., 4 of 5 3 points; Tyrone Lyons 10 pts., 4 reb., 2 steals; I Quan Ewing 10 points, 6 rebs.
FAMU: MJ Randolph 30 points, 6 rebs; Bryce Morange 13 pts, 9 rebs., Keith Littles 10 pts., 4 rebs.
FAMU hosts Grambling State in a doubleheader on Monday. The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the men play at 7:30 p.m.
Follow FAMU beat writer Rory Sharrock on Twitter @married2game1.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU basketball teams swept in doubles in SWAC home opener