TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Kailya Jackson netted a game-high 21 points, but the Florida A&M University women's basketball dropped a heartbreaker on Monday afternoon to North Carolina Central, 71-70, in overtime in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game at the Al Lawson Center.
Monday's heartbreaker ended a two-game win streak for their Lady Rattlers (4-13 overall, 2-4 MEAC), while the visiting Eagles (5-13, 2-3) completed the series sweep. series.
THE LEADING LADIES
Jackson led all scorers with 21 points, four rebounds, three steals and a trio of three-pointers. Regan Anderson added 11 points, while freshman Alaina Rice finished with nine rebounds, six points and five assists. Kayla Massop added six points and eight rebounds, while Staysha Allen pulled down six boards.
Zaria Atkins led NCCU with 16 points, four assists and three steals. Anissa Rivera and Ashlyn Lockard each finished with 12 points, while Paulina Afriyie scored 11 points. Rivera also added nine rebounds for the Eagles.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
The Lady Rattlers trailed, 14-13, after the first quarter, and the action was just as tightly contested in the second period, as North Carolina Central edged FAMU, 18-16, to take a slim 32-29 halftime lead.
FAMU came out of the break determined to make a run, scoring a pair of quick buckets to take a 33-32 lead.
The lead changed hands several times, before the Eagles scored the final four points in the third to take a 49-45 edge into the final stanza.
Alaina Rice stopped a 6-0 NCCU run with a pair of foul shots with just under eight minutes left in the game, pulling the Lady Rattlers to four, 51-47, before Kailya Jackson cut the deficit to two with a short jumper, 51-49.
Jackson splashed a 3-pointer, tying the game at 55-55 with under five minutes left.
Trailing 60-56 with 1:14 left, Jackson sank two foul shots to pull FAMU within two points, then Jackson went the length of the floor for a layup with 33.4 seconds left to tie the game at 60-60.
North Carolina Central ran the clock down to under 10 seconds, before missing a shot, which the Lady Rattlers rebounded with 5.1 seconds left, calling time out.
Rice took the inbounds pass, drove around the perimeter before missing a jumper, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, grabbed a 63-60 lead, before a Rice jumper cut the deficit to 63-62. After a NCCU free throw, Jackson splashed a 3-pointer for a 65-64 lead.
FAMU clung to a 67-66 lead with 1:25 left when Asia Royster sank two foul shots to go ahead, 69-66, but Zaria Atkins layup with 1:11 left cut the margin to 69-68.
Kayla Massop was sent to the foul line and made one-of-two from the charity stripe, but Atkins provided the game-winner as she sank a layup and was fouled with 5.4 seconds remaining. Atkins connected on the free throw for the 71-70 advantage.
FAMU had one final attempt as Jackson's 3-point try bounced off the rim, securing the victory for North Carolina Central.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
> North Carolina Central narrowly won the rebounding battle, 49-48, and they had the better shooting day, hitting 40.7 percent (24-of-59) from the floor to 31.1 percent (23-of-74)
> FAMU connected on six three-pointers, while holding the Eagles to just one triple one triple
> Shalunda Burney Robinson, the Lady Rattlers' top scorer on the season coming in, got into early foul trouble, and fouled out with three points and four rebounds.
WHO'S NEXT: Florida A&M hits the road for a Mid-Atlantic weekend at Howard University on Saturday in Washington, D.C. (2 p.m.) and Monday at Norfolk State (5:30 p.m.).
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