Clarksville, Tenn.| The Florida A&M men’s basketball team earned its first victory of the season, a 76-70 triumph over the Austin Peay Governors (4-3, 0-1 OVC) inside the Winfield Dunn Center on Tuesday night.
FAMU (1-4, 0-0 MEAC) leading scorer, MJ Randolph, exploded for a career-high 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting, to go along with six assists, five steals and two rebounds.
The Rattlers had its best shooting performance so far this season, shooting 55.6 percent from the field (30-of-54) and 50 percent from three-point range (7-of-14).
On the defensive end, FAMU stifled the Governors, holding them to shooting just 39.7 percent from the floor (23-of-58) and 24.7 percent from behind the arc.
The Rattlers held ASPU leading scorer, Terry Taylor, to 13 points on the evening. Taylor was averaging 20.8 points per game entering Tuesday’s contest.
How It Happened
The first half of play was an even affair with both teams making big plays.
Florida A&M opened the game on fire, opening up a quick 10-5 lead with 15:22 left to play in the first half.
MJ Randolph opened the scoring with a driving layup at the 18:16 mark.
Austin Peay built their largest lead of the game, 27-20, on a Carlos Paez three-pointer with 6:00 left in the first half.
FAMU clawed its way back and ended the half on 14-7 run, to send both teams into the break tied at 34.
In the second half, the Rattlers would keep the pressure on the Governors.
For much of the season, Florida A&M struggled to shoot the three-ball consistently, however, shots from long distance were just what the doctor ordered for the Rattlers.
Johnny Brown splashed two three-pointers early in the second half.
Brown’s first second half deep ball gave the Rattlers a 39-36 lead with 18:28 left to play. His next three-pointer put the Rattlers up 44-40 with 16:08 left.
APSU grabbed a 51-50 lead with 9:41 left to play, thanks to a mid-range jumper by DJ Peavy.
However, that would be the last lead the Governors would hold over the Rattlers, as FAMU went on an 18-6 run, highlighted by a Jai Clark three-pointer to give FAMU a 68-57 lead with 4:29 left to play.
The Governors made one final push, cutting the FAMU advantage to 72-70 with 34 seconds left to play, but the Rattlers salted the game away at the free-throw line to claim a 76-70 victory.