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Florida A&M Stuns Iowa State to conclude 2019

Robert McCullum
Posted at 11:03 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 23:03:09-05

AMES, Iowa | Rod Melton, Jr. scored 20 points, including the game-winning bucket as the Florida A&M University men's basketball team stunned Iowa State, 70-68, on Tuesday night, wrapping up its 2019 non-conference slate at the Hilton Coliseum.

Florida A&M (2-9) led by four early on and trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half yet found themselves down 33-24 at the break. The Rattlers put on a second-half performance for the ages and outscored the Cyclones, 46-35, to pick up their second consecutive victory.

Melton, who's jumper with 10 seconds remaining gave FAMU a 69-68 lead, led the Rattlers with 20 points, on 9-of-13 shooting, with three rebounds and two steals. DJ Jones registered a career-high 16 points, on 7-of-10 shooting, with a team-high seven boards, two blocks, one steal and one assist, while MJ Randolph added 13 points, five boards, three assists and a pair of steals. Kamron Reaves tallied 10 points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds.

Rasir Bolton paced Iowa State with a game-high 29 points, including 4-of-4 from behind the 3-point line, with four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. George Conditt recorded 12 points, six boards, two steals and one block, while Terrence Lewis chipped in with 10 points, a game-high eight rebounds and one steal.

How It Happened
Iowa State (7-5) grabbed a 5-4 advantage after a bucket by Terrence Lewis with 16:57 remaining in the first half, but Florida A&M scored the next five points, capped by a jumper by MJ Randolph to give the Rattlers a 9-5 lead with 15:17 left.

The Cyclones responded with a 19-2 run over the next six minutes to grab a 24-11 lead with 9:38 remaining.

Florida A&M closed the gap to 28-20 after a jumper by Bryce Moragne with 5:22 left in the half, but Iowa State answered and pushed the advantage back into double digits at 32-20 as Rasir Bolton scored on a layup with 4:31 remaining.

The Rattlers trimmed the deficit to 33-24 as Rod Melton, Jr. sank a jumper right before the half.

Iowa State extended the lead to 38-27 after a layup by Solomon Young, but Florida A&M used a 6-2 run over the next two minutes to trim the deficit to 40-33 after a Melton layup with 16:28 remaining.

The Rattlers continued to battle back and used a 11-2 run, capped by an Evins Desir jumper to grab a 44-42 lead with just over 12 minutes to play.

With the game within two-to-three points over the next six minutes, Florida A&M took its largest lead of the second half, 56-50, after a pair of free throws by Bryce Moragne with 5:57 remaining.

Iowa State closed the margin to 60-56 at the final media timeout, setting the stage for a wild final three minutes.

The Cyclones got free throws and a 3-pointer by Bolton to cut the deficit to 62-61 with 2:55 remaining, but a second-chance jumper by DJ Jones gave the Rattlers a 64-61 advantage with 2:16 left.

However, a jumper by George Conditt trimmed the FAMU lead to 64-63 with just over two minutes remaining and the Rattlers called a timeout with 1:53 left.

Florida A&M got a huge 3-pointer by Kameron Reaves coming out of the timeout, but Bolton answered with a trey of his own to keep it at one point, 67-66, with 1:17 left.

A foul in the backcourt by Randolph sent Iowa State to the free-throw line with 48 seconds left and Conditt sank both shots to give the Cyclones the 68-67 lead.

Melton missed a jumper with 28 seconds remaining, but Randolph grabbed the offensive board and the Rattlers called timeout with 23 seconds left.

Out of the timeout, Melton sank a jumper with 10 seconds remaining and was fouled on the play. He missed the free throw, but the loose-ball tie-up saw the possession arrow favor the Rattlers with six ticks on the clock.

Randolph was fouled with two seconds left and he made the 1-of-2 from the line as it was enough time for Iowa State fell to Florida A&M, 70-68.

Inside the Numbers
> Florida A&M shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the floor and 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the charity stripe
> Iowa State was 25-of-54 (46.3 percent) from the field and 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) from the foul line
> FAMU registered 29 rebounds, including 18 on the defensive glass
> ISU pulled down 34 rebounds, with 22 coming on the defensive end
> The Rattlers finished with 30 bench points, 15 points off 18 ISU turnovers, 12 second-chance points, six fastbreak points and five bench points
> The Cyclones recorded 30 bench points, 19 points off 14 FAMU turnovers, 15 bench points, 13 fastbreak points and nine second-chance points

News and Notes
> Tuesday's matchup with Iowa State marked the second time Florida A&M has played the Cyclones
> The all-time series is tied at 1 after Tuesday's FAMU win
> Florida A&M is 1-1 all-time in Ames, Iowa
> The win over Iowa State also marked the first victory over a Power 5 opponent in school history
> The Rattlers entered Tuesday's game 0-72 vs. major conference opponents over the last 20 seasons
> In addition, FAMU entered the game as 25.5 underdogs, according to ESPN Stats Info
> Florida A&M wrapped up its non-conference slate playing two nationally ranked opponents – No. 10 Seton Hall and No. 21 Tennessee, while also playing power 5 foes USC, Kansas State, Washington State and Iowa State
> Florida A&M has faced two nationally-ranked programs so far this season – #10 Seton Hall and No. 21 Tennessee
> The Rattlers are in the midst of a season-opening 13-game road swing
> FAMU's first home game comes on Jan. 11, 2020 against MEAC opponent Morgan State
> Florida A&M has travelled a total of 21,657 miles to begin the season and will add another 1,177 miles with the return trip back home to Tallahassee, Fla.

Up Next
Florida A&M will open Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play on Saturday as the Rattlers visit North Carolina Central. Tip-off against the Eagles is set for 4 p.m. from the McDougald-McLendon Arena.

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