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B-CU Turnovers Make the Difference in MEAC-Opening Loss

Courtesy:           Release: 01/07/2013

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Tonight's MEAC-opening contest was promising in the second half but turned against the Lady Wildcats, as season-high turnovers got the best of Bethune-Cookman, leading to a 76-60 Florida A&M win Monday night at the Al Lawson Center.

"The girls were up for it, they were pumped," said Head Coach Vanessa Blair. "But against a very good team, you can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to have a good game."

In the first half, B-CU got down at times, but was never out, as everybody got into the action, with eight different scorers on the board heading into the half. Defensively, the Lady Wildcats got after it, but FAMU's Jasmine Grice lived up her pregame billing early, hitting outstanding shots for 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, leading the Lady Rattlers to a 33-26 halftime lead.

B-CU struck first in the second period, getting the ball inside to Amanda Hairston, setting off an 8-2 Lady Wildcats run to claim the advantage at 36-34, their first lead since the opening moments of the game. However, every time the Lady Wildcats gained an upper hand and some momentum, FAMU's Kim Sparkman bailed the Lady Rattlers out from the perimeter; Sparkman hit five of her seven field goals from three point range.

The Lady Wildcats shot exceptionally in the second half, hitting 56 percent, and outrebounding FAMU 47-23, but unforced errors and FAMU takeaways were the deciding factor that allowed the Lady Rattlers to pull away in each half. B-CU logged a season-high 35 turnovers, 21 in the second half, which translated to 37 total points for the Lady Rattlers.

FAMU iced the game hitting seven of eight free throws in the final two minutes, holding B-CU at a safe distance as they went on to win, 76-60, making it 13 straight wins for the Lady Rattlers in the series.

Despite not hitting a field goal until the final 20 seconds of the first, Chastity René Taylor came to life in the second half, leading B-CU with 18 points. Hairston made it back-to-back games with a double-double, logging 12 points and 13 rebounds; It was her third of the season and fifth of her career. Terrenisha Hollis had nine, while Kayla Crawford chipped in eight.

With the loss, the Lady Wildcats fall to 5-8 on the year, and open MEAC play with an 0-1 record. They return to Daytona Beach to start a two-game home stand against North Carolina A&T (Jan. 12) and North Carolina Central (Jan. 14) at Moore Gymnasium.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feed, @BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at Bethune-Cookman Athletics.

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