DURHAM, N.C. — The Florida A&M University women's basketball team played nip-and-tuck in their 2020 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener Saturday against North Carolina Central, eventually falling to the Eagles, 66-57 at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.
Saturday's setback was the seventh straight for the Rattlers (2-10, 0-1 MEAC), but it was a heartbreaker of sorts as the game was decided in the fourth quarter, with FAMU trailing by just seven points, 46-39.
The Eagles (4-10, 1-0 MEAC) edged the Rattlers, 20-18 in the final stanza to close out the win, with the third period being the decisive quarter, as NCCU edged FAMU, 13-9.
NCCU won all the periods by single digit margins.
They led 21-19 after the first, and just 33-30 at the half, as FAMU held the Eagles to 12 points in the second, while scoring 11.
In the third period, NCCU won the scoring battle, 13-9, setting the stage for the hotly-contested final frame.
FAMU sophomore Jasmine Ballew led the way with 20 points, splashing three of eight triples Saturday. The duo of Kailya Jackson and Shalundra Burney Robinson each added 11 points. Alaina Rice finished with seven points, three rebounds and four steals, while Burney Robinson hauled down 10 rebounds, giving her her third double double of the season.
Paulina Afriyie led the Eagles with a double double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, with Anissa Rivera pulling down 10 boards as well.
MORE NUMBERS: Interestingly, both clubs shot an identical 41.1 percent (23 of 56) from the floor, with FAMU splashing 4 of 13 triples to Central's 3 of 13.
The Eagles won the game at the free throw line, cashing in 17 of their 30 charity tosses, while the Rattlers hit seven (7) of their 10 free throws.
NCCU outrebounded FAMU, 37 to 33, while FAMU committed more turnovers, 27 to 20 in Saturday's game.
WHO'S ON DECK: FAMU wraps up their Carolinas Swing Monday night in Greensboro, against the North Carolina A&T Lady Aggies, tipping off at 5:30 p.m. in the Corbett Center.