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Rattler men defeat Bison in Overtime

Posted at 7:37 PM, Feb 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-08 19:37:57-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — Evins Desir matched his career high with 18 points as the Florida A&M University men's basketball overcame a sluggish performance to force overtime and defeat Howard, 82-78, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game on Saturday at the Al Lawson Center.

Florida A&M (8-13 overall, 6-4 MEAC), which matched its longest win streak of the season and will remained perfect at home, trailed 34-30 at the half and by as many as six points early in the second half. The Rattlers forced overtime on a Rod Melton, Jr. 3-pointer and went 5-of-6 at the foul line down the stretch to earn their eighth win of the season.

Desir poured in 18 points, on 7-of-10 shooting, with three rebounds and pair of steals. Kamron Reaves registered 15 points, a game-high seven assists and three rebounds, while DJ Jones posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, along with one assist. Melton tallied 11 points, two boards and one assist and Brendon Myles came off the bench to provide 10 points and eight rebounds.

Nate Garvey led all scorers with 20 points, including six 3-pointers, with five rebounds, two assists and one steal to pace Howard. Charles Williams recorded 17 points, three boards, two assists and one block. Phillip Jones and Wayne Bristol each added 13 points as the Bison dropped their 13th straight game.

How It Happened
With the game tied at 13 after the first 10 minutes, Florida A&M used an 8-3 run to grab a 21-16 advantage after a jumper by Rod Melton, Jr. with 6:29 left in the first half.

The Bison responded with a 14-5 run over the next four minutes to take a 30-26 advantage after a pair of free throws by Phillip Jones with 2:35 remaining.

Florida A&M answered and tied the game at 30 after two free throws by MJ Randolph, but Howard got a jumper by Wayne Bristol, Jr. and two free throws by Jones to take a 34-30 lead into the half.

The Rattlers began the second half on a 6-2 run, capped by a Randolph layup, to give FAMU the 37-36 lead with 17:24 remaining.

Howard answered and grabbed a 43-39 lead after an Ian Lee 3-pointer with 14:20 left, but the Rattlers tied the game at 46 after a trey by Brendon Myles with 12:48 remaining.

Florida A&M pushed the lead to 52-48 after a bucket by Myles with 10:14 remaining, but Howard continued to keep the game close and cut the deficit to 52-51 after two free throws by Charles Williams with just under nine minutes to play.

A three-point play by Williams with 8:17 left gave the Bison a 54-52 advantage, but Kamron Reaves' slashing layup tied the game at 54 with 8:01 remaining.

Howard got a layup by Williams with 4:08 left to give the Bison a 63-60 lead but the Rattlers went down low to Evins Desir scored on back-to-back buckets to give FAMU a 66-65 lead with 2:10 remaining.

A putback layup by Williams and free throws by Bristol gave the Bison a 69-66 advantage with 47.2 seconds left.

The Rattlers got a much-needed bucket on their next offensive possession as Melton's 3-point attempt banged in and out of the cylinder as Jones tipped in the loose ball to cut the Bison lead to 69-68 with 16.5 seconds remaining.

Florida A&M was forced to foul as Phillip Jones sank both shots at the line with 15.3 seconds left to give Howard a 71-68 lead, but Melton launched a deep 3-pointer with eight seconds left, tying the game at 71 and sending the game into overtime.

Both teams went back and forth in the extra period and neither could hold a lead larger than two points as the game went down the final minute.

A layup in transition by Reaves gave the Rattlers a 77-75 lead with 37 seconds left and after a turnover by the Bison, Howard was forced to foul with 22.4 seconds remaining.

Reaves sank both shots at the foul line, extending the FAMU lead to 79-75, but a 3-pointer by Bristol cut the deficit to 79-78 with 4.3 seconds left.

The Bison were forced to foul as Reaves was sent to the free-throw line and he sank both shot, pushing the lead to 81-78, with 3.2 seconds remaining.

After a Howard turnover, the Bison fouled DJ Jones and he sank 1-of-2 at the charity stripe as FAMU remained undefeated at home this season.

Inside the Numbers
> Florida A&M shot 39.4 percent (26-of-66) from the floor and 73.5 percent (25-of-34) from the charity stripe
> Howard was 27-of-53 (50.9 percent) from the field and 15-of-19 (78.9percent) from the foul line
> FAMU registered 44 rebounds, with 22 coming on the offensive end
> HU pulled down 32 rebounds, including 24 on the defensive glass
> The Rattlers finished with 30 points in the paint, 16 bench points, 15 second-chance points and 13 points off 23 HU turnovers
> The Bison recorded 24 points in the paint, 22 points off 17 FAMU turnovers, 13 bench points and eight second-chance points

News and Notes
> Florida A&M swept the season series over Howard
> The Rattlers have won the past two meetings over the Bison
> FAMU remained undefeated at home during the 2020 season
> Robert McCullum improved to 2-4 as the head coach at FAMU in overtime games
> Evins Desir tied a career high with 18 points
> FAMU won the first meeting of the season, 87-83, on Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C.
> MJ Randolph fouled out with 10:39 remaining as FAMU held a slim 50-48 lead
> Florida A&M has faced two nationally-ranked programs so far this season – #10 Seton Hall and No. 21 Tennessee
> FAMU picked up a signature victory on Dec. 31 against Iowa State (70-68)
> The Rattlers have only played six of their 21 games at home this season

Up Next
Florida A&M will wrap up its three-game homestand on Monday night against North Carolina A&T State. Tip-off against the Aggies is set for 8 p.m. from the Al Lawson Center.