PRINCESS ANNE, Md. | MJ Randolph and Rod Melton, Jr. finished with a combined 45 points, but it wasn't enough as the Florida A&M University men's basketball team saw its four-game win streak snapped on Monday night with an 81-71 loss to Maryland Eastern Shore in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game on Monday night at the Hytche Athletic Center.
Florida A&M (10-14 overall, 8-5 MEAC), which had yet to drop a game in the month of February, could not withstand a big second-half by Maryland Eastern Shore in falling on the road. The Hawks (5-21, 4-7) won for the second straight game and completed the Florida sweep after defeating Bethune-Cookman, 66-58, on Saturday.
Melton paced the Rattlers with 24 points, on 9-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range. He also added four rebounds and four steals. Randolph tied a career high with 21 points, two boards, two steals and one assist.
Da'Shawn Phillip led Maryland Eastern Shore with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Glen Anderson registered 13 points, two assists and one steal, while AJ Cheeseman poured in 12 points, eight boards, one steal and one assist. Canaan Bartley recorded 11 points, a team-high five assists and one rebound.
How It Happened
Maryland Eastern Shore grabbed a 10-9 advantage after a 3-pointer by Glen Anderson with just under 14 minutes left in the first half.
Florida A&M answered with a small 5-0 run, capped by a Rod Melton, Jr. layup with 13:13 remaining, but back came the Hawks as Canaan Bartley's 3-pointer with 11:30 left tied the game at 16.
The Rattlers used an 11-4 run over the next six minutes to grab a 27-20 advantage after an Evins Desir jumper with 5:28 left.
However, Maryland Eastern Shore closed the half strong with an 11-4 run as the two teams entered the break tied at 31.
The Hawks began the second half strong and took a 40-34 lead after a Da'Shawn Phillip layup with 15:40 remaining, but the Rattlers battled back, closing the gap to 49-47 after a Nasir Core layup with 11:04 left.
Maryland Eastern Shore responded with a with a short 6-0 run, capped by a Phillip 3-pointer as the Hawks extended the lead to 55-49.
An AJ Cheeseman layup with 6:18 left stretched the UMES advantage to 63-54, but FAMU cut the margin to 65-58 after a bucket by MJ Randolph.
The Hawks continued to push the advantage and extended the lead to 72-58 with just over three minutes to play.
The deficit proved to be too big as the Rattlers dropped their first contest in the month of February.
Inside the Numbers
> Florida A&M shot 53.7 percent (29-of-54) from the floor and 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from the charity stripe
> Maryland Eastern Shore was 30-of-60 (50.0 percent) from the field and 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) from the foul line
> FAMU registered 25 rebounds, with 17 coming on the defensive end
> MDES pulled down 37 rebounds, including 16 on the offensive glass
> The Rattlers finished with 32 points in the paint, 20 points off 15 MDES turnovers, 12 fastbreak points, 12 second-chance points and 10 bench points
> The Hawks recorded 37 points in the paint, 26 bench points, 22 points off 16 FAMU turnovers, 18 second-chance points and 11 fastbreak points
News and Notes
> Maryland Eastern Shore extended its win streak in the series to four straight games
> The Rattlers saw its four-game win streak snapped
> 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 22 games at home this season
> Florida A&M has travelled 27,776 miles this season
Florida A&M returns home to take on Norfolk State on Saturday. Tip-off at the Al Lawson Center for Salute to Service Day is set for 4 p.m.
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