By Kennedy Guidry
The Florida A&M University Men’s Basketball Team faced off against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats for senior night and the last home game of the season last weekend. The Rattlers were defeated by the Wildcats 67-54.
Rattler fans came and packed out the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center in celebration of seniors Isaiah Martin and Justin Ravenel, with Ravenel ending the game FAMU’s All-Time Three-Point Shooter.
“After I made the shot, it was just kind of like, there’s still a game to be played. There’s no time for heroism or anything like that. We’re still down so we just had to stay locked in and try to give the best effort that we had those last few minutes,” said Ravenel in regards to the shot that put him over the top, at a press conference after the game.
Between Ravenel and Martin, they had a total of 26 points and 6 rebounds. Martin ended the game with two offensive rebounds and two defensive rebounds.
“They’re just very aggressive. Besides me there wasn’t anybody else that could match their energy down low in the post,” said Martin at the press conference.
Although Ravenel knew he was approaching the three-point record, he never took any shots for that purpose and was constantly focused on just winning the game.
“There’s nothing that gets me more amped up than what we already need to do. I understand already I’m going to take shots but there’s no reason to go outside of what we need to do to try to win the game…when its actually time to play, we have a game to win and we need to focus on what we need to do to win that game. There’s no going out the element because there’s a record to be broken…that’s not in my body… that’s not why I play basketball.”
Overall the Rattlers had a shocking total of 20 turnovers and were also unable to finish a lot of second chance points.
“I’m extremely disappointed not only in the loss, but in our overall effort…The 20 turnovers were clearly the difference in the game. We turned the ball over 20 times to a team that wasn’t even pressing. It’s just decision-making a lack of patience,” said Rattlers Head Coach Robert McCullum.
In addition to it being Senior Night, FAMU also honored two FAMU legends. Waite Bellamy and Cathy Robinson are now two of the four athletes to have their jerseys retired in the rafters of the Lawson Center.
Many former FAMU basketball players were in attendance to support their fellow Rattlers and their encouragement had a big impact on the team.
“Just seeing them yesterday and today I was really really excited. I got to meet Terrance Lewis today and I’ve been hearing about him since I got here,” Ravenel stated. “Just the fact that a lot of former players got to come back and that they’re saying these great things about FAMU… that’s the reason I play because those are the things that when I come back, I want to see.”
“The program won last night, seeing as many people showed up, former players and coaches for the reception. We won last night… It was really encouraging,” McCullum said.
McCullum shared his thoughts on Martin and Ravenel’s last time playing in the Lawson Center.
“I enjoy coaching them… we got two games left to play. They all [arrived] with me, the same time. When I got here [Martin] was already here, so I’ve had the same amount of time but it’s been a joy. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of coaching,” said McCullum.
“It’s been great being a part of the program. You can see all the potential we got in the locker room, all our young players. It’s going to be great to see how they come out in the future. I have very high hopes,” Martin said.
The Rattlers will be on the road for their last game of the season against Bethune-Cookman on Thursday.