Rattlers fall in opening round of SWAC Men’s Tournament to Alabama A&M, 61-56

FAMU Guard MJ Randolph is introduced prior to the Rattlers' contest against Alabama A&M at the...
FAMU Guard MJ Randolph is introduced prior to the Rattlers' contest against Alabama A&M at the 2022 SWAC Men's Basketball Tournament.(Ryan Kelly | WCTV Sports)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 2:54 AM EST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WCTV) - The shots just didn’t fall for the fourth seeded Florida A&M Rattlers on Thursday as Alabama A&M punished FAMU from the foul line en route to a 61-56 opening round victory at the 2022 SWAC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Orange and Green jumped out to an early lead in the contest, finding a rhythm offensive before fifth seeded AAMU (12-17, 10-8 SWAC) and opening up a nine point lead with under four to play in the opening half. The Bulldogs would answer however with a quick run to go into the locker room only down three.

The second half saw the four seeded Rattlers (13-17, 11-7 SWAC) grow colder and the whistles more frequent at least in favor of the Bulldogs. FAMU would go to the stripe only nine times in the contest compared to Alabama A&M’s 27 attempts at the line.

“In spite of their 27 free throw attempts we didn’t shoot the ball well,” said Head Coach Robert McCullum, making no excuses for the Rattler’s loss. “You can’t realistically expect to advance in tournament play shooting 34% to 35% from the field so at the end of the day we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

FAMU would get most of its points from its now outgoing seniors with DJ Jones, Bryce Moragne, Kamron Reaves and SWAC Player of the Year MJ Randolph (who has an option to take a final year of eligibility) accounting for 44 of the Rattlers’ points on the night.

“They brought me in, accepted me, taught me how the program is supposed to be ran. Taught me how to fit in fast my freshman year,” Remarked Randolph of his fellow upperclassmen. “When your teammates accept you, they want you there, that’s the best thing you can have when you first come in from high school. They mean a lot to me, I appreciate them, and definitely going to miss them.”

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