DURHAM, N.C. (FAMU ATHLETICS) — Jalen Speer, Kamron Reaves and MJ Randolph all scored 14 points apiece as Florida A&M wrapped the regular season up with a 74-71 loss to North Carolina Central at the McDougald-McLendon Arena on Thursday night.
A night after earning a 65-58 victory over NCCU, FAMU got off to a quick start, building a quick 15-4 to open the contest. NCCU, however, settled down going on an 8-0 run to cool the Rattlers off.'
The Rattlers held the lead until Mike Melvin hit a free throw put the Eagles up 34-33 going into halftime.
In the second frame, NCCU built a 54-44 lead with 12:49 left, and looked to take full control of the contest, however, the scrappy Rattlers worked their way back into the contest. Senior forward, DJ Jones, sparked a 7-0 run with a monster dunk at the 11:44 mark. Kameron Reaves capped the run with a deep three pointer, cutting the Eagles advantage to 54-51.
The Rattlers stayed neck-and-neck with the Eagles for the rest of the contest, but couldn't catapult themselves into the lead as NCCU walked away with the three-point victory.
Randolph hit on 62.5 percent of his shots (5-of-8) and snagged five rebounds with five assists. Speer and Reaves both shot 50 percent from the field (5-of-10). Reaves grabbed four rebounds with two assists, while Speer tallied one rebound and one assist.
Deven Palmer led the Eagle attack pouring in 17 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Palmer did most of his damage at the free throw line, going a perfect 8-of-8.
Both teams put together stronger shooting performances than what was on display the night prior.
FAMU connected on 51.9 percent of its shots (27-of-52) including 47.4 percent from behind the arch (9-of-19). NCCU, who was held just 32.8 percent shooting on Wednesday evening, hit on 49.0 percent of its attempts (25-of-51) on Thursday.
NCCU reserves also put in quality minutes, holding a 46-15 advantage in bench points.
FAMU gears up for the 2021 MEAC Basketball Tournament in Norfolk, Va. where the Rattlers have locked up the No. 2 seed in the southern division. Florida A&M will square off against No. 3 seed from the MEAC North at 6 p.m. on March 11.