Women's Basketball Game Day: Florida A&M
Neither team's record properly reflects the talent or the capability in this always-tough conference rivalry. Both squads are still just putting the pieces together and have missed on some breaks along the way.
About the Lady Rattlers
Led by nationally fourth-ranked guard Jasmine Grice's 22.6 points per game, the Lady Rattlers have proven their ability to score at 64.7 PPG (137th NCAA) including four games scoring over 70. However, they have struggled at times to contain opponent scoring, giving up an average of 75.3 points and surrendering over 70 in 8-of-10 losses this year.
In addition to her scoring ability, Grice, a junior, spends the entire game on the floor (38.5 minutes per game), and also leads the team in steals with 3.5 SPG (16th NCAA) and assists (3.5 APG), while locking in a team second-best 6.7 rebounds per outing.
Aiding Grice in her performances is the support has been the support received from her teammates, topped by fellow guard Kimberly Sparkman, who serves as FAMU's leading perimeter shooter. Sparkman puts up 16.4 PPG, aided by her averaging of 3.2 threes per game, while also making 2.9 steals and 1.5 assists per game.
Eight Lady Rattlers play at least 19 minutes a game, with four other players, Jamie Forman, Patrice Collie, Cristal Liriano and Tierra Prothra each chipping in at lead five points each contest. Prothra has topped the team in rebounds with eight per game, but will not face B-CU. Rebounding has been an area of weakness for FAMU in the early going, with Grice (6.7 RPG) and Forman (6.6 RPG) providing the next top active averages.
About the Lady Wildcats
Bethune-Cookman is talent-laden, but has found challenges in consistency across 12 games this season, of course influenced by the eight newcomers joining the roster. B-CU's most consistent scoring force has been Chastity René Taylor, averaging 14.3 PPG while making 2.4 threes per contest. Taylor also tops the Lady Wildcats at the line, leading the team with an 85.7 percent free throw average. In her last outing at Kent State, Taylor scored 16 to lead B-CU and made it to double figures for the fourth time in the last five games.
The other offensive force for B-CU will be tested in Tallahassee, as center Amanda Hairston is coming off her second double-double (10 pt./10 reb.) of the season at Kent State. On the year, Hairston averages 11.2 points and 7.1 rebounds a game, hitting 57.3 percent of her shots to rank 18th in the NCAA. Hairston ranks third in the MEAC in blocks (1.6) and will need to exert her will to stunt FAMU's inside game.
B-CU's top performances of the season have come courtesy of solid games from the rest of the roster, but that is also where the inconsistency has shown. To top the Lady Rattlers, B-CU will look to Terrenisha Hollis, Jasmine Evans and Kayla Crawford to take some FAMU focus off B-CU's top scorers. Hollis averages 7.8 points and 4.4 rebounds, but has seen a two-game slump coming out of the holiday break, after scoring in double figures in a previous four straight. Evans, B-CU's first player of the bench provides a steady 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds, while starting forward Crawford will need to exceed her averages (2.8 PPG/3.5 RPG) to draw the Lady Rattlers off of Hairston and get the inside presence rolling.
The recent record in this series has not been kind to the Lady Wildcats, who are 3-16 against Florida A&M over the last 10 seasons, including 12 straight losses. The Lady Rattlers have eight straight wins in Tallahassee, and are 3-0 over the Lady Wildcats in the Lawson Center. However, every streak ends somewhere.
During the Game
Live Stats: FAMU Athletics will provide live stats during the game with a link to be provided as the game draws closer to tipoff.
The game will not be streamed live or have live audio. Radio broadcasts will begin during the opening double-header of MEAC play.