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Lady Rattlers start slow and nearly pull off big comeback

Posted: 9:24 PM, Feb 22, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-22 21:24:25-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — The Florida A&M University women's basketball team started slow on Saturday afternoon against Norfolk State, but nearly staged an incredible comeback in a 69-62 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) loss at the Al Lawson Center.

The Lady Rattlers (5-20 overall, 3-11 MEAC) fell behind 21-0 to begin the game, but outscored Norfolk State (16-9, 10-2), 62-48 over the final three-plus quarters.

SATURDAY'S LEADING LADIES

Shalaunda Burney-Robinson posted her eighth double-double of the season to pace Florida A&M. She registered 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Jasmine Ballew finished with 10 points. Corey Staples added eight points, splashing a pair of three-pointers.

La'Deja James led the Spartans with 19 points as Chanette Hicks tossed in 13 points and six rebounds. Mikaela Jones chipped in with 12 points and five boards, while Blaire TGhopm added nine points and eight rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Norfolk State came out hot, shooting 61 percent in the first quarter, rolling to a 21-0 lead with 2:53 left.

Shalaunda Burney-Robinson hit a jumper with 2:40 left to tally the first points for the Lady Rattlers, who would get baskets from Robinson and Jhakya Dilworth to trail 25-6 after one period. FAMU hurt its cause in the opening frame with nine turnovers, leading to eight Spartan points.

Florida A&M picked up the scoring in the second, outscoring the Spartans, 18-16, to close to 41-24 at the half. Norfolk State used an 8-1 run to begin the second half, but Florida A&M closed to within 59-41 after three periods. The Lady Rattlers cut the margin to 65-60 with 1:38 remaining, but could not get any closer.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

> As close as the game turned out, it was FAMU's turnovers that proved fatal, as their 22 giveaways led to 24 points for the Spartans.

> Despite the high turnover number (22), Florida A&M had just 13 giveaways over the final three quarters

> Norfolk shot 54.2 percent (32-of-59) on the day, thanks to 44 points coming in the paint

> Burney-Robinson's 12-rebound effort was her third straight double-digit rebounding game, and her 12th of the season

WHAT'S ON TAP:

Florida A&M will host South Carolina State at 6 p.m. on Monday night in its 2020 home finale as the Lady Rattlers will honor their seniors prior to the game.