BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Ricky Johnson’s basket with one second remaining lifted Bethune-Cookman past Florida A&M 67-65 in overtime at Moore Gymnasium last week.
“We ran that play the last game. I saw an opening and was able to get the ball in the hoop. Coach has been telling me to be more aggressive,” remarked Johnson.
Added Gravelle Craig, B-CU’s head basketball coach, “We just spaced the floor on a high ball screen and let him make a decision. He is our best free throw shooter as well.’’
Johnson finished with a career-high 25 points to lead the Wildcats.
On Monday he was named MEAC Player of the Week. He also made the game-winning free throw in a 58-57 win over Maryland Eastern Shore on Jan. 28.
FAMU had one final chance but De’Andre Bullard’s desperation three pointer from half court hit the front of the rim as time expired.
The Rattlers dominated the first half and held a 31-20 advantage at halftime.
“They started with the big guard lineup. FAMU also shot the ball well. We just had to stay the course,” added Craig.
FAMU held a 13-point advantage at 27-14 when Reggie Lewis hit a three with 5:38 to play in the first half. They also led 39-26 with 15:46 to play after a three by Jamie Adams.
B-CU took its first lead since the first score at 42-41 on a put back by Javoris Bryant with 8:42 to play.
The Wildcats led 56-51 with 37 seconds remaining but missed free throws and had a critical turnover, which allowed the Rattlers to tie the game.
Lewis finished with 17 points (four threes) to lead the Rattlers but scored just six points after halftime.
B-CU held the advantage in points in the paint, bench points and second-chance points but was only 16-for-28 from the free throw line.
“We are a work in progress. We have to shoot free throws better,” added Craig.
FAMU held a slight advantage in rebounding 38-37, knocked down eight three pointers (five in the first half) but also only converted 11-of-18 free throws.
Adrien Coleman added 16 points and Bryant 11 points with eight rebounds and two blocks for B-CU.
“My jump shot was working today. I had been told to let it come to me and I did that today,” said Bryant.
Bullard added 11 points and Trey Kellum had 10 points with 10 boards for FAMU.
Women’s hoops: Ladies beat Rattlers too
In the women’s game, the Lady Wildcats defeated the Lady Rattlers 59-49.
B-CU capped a 14-4 run on a three pointer from Chastity Rene Taylor to take a 39-25 lead with 15:47 to play.
FAMU got within 48-42 on Andreya Lacy’s three pointer with 7:29 left.
The Lady Wildcats would then pull away, rebuilding their lead to 13 again.
B-CU held the advantage in points in the paint (32-18), points off turnovers (27-7) and bench points (26-3).
“We took care of the basketball and we were able to play well defensively scoring off their turnovers; 27 points off turnovers were huge,” responded Vanessa Blair, head coach of the Lady Wildcats.
Taylor finished with 19 points to lead the Wildcats.
“It’s a great feeling getting a win over FAMU, I don’t know how to describe it,” responded Taylor.
Noted Blair, “She didn’t play the first time we played them and it was difficult for her, but she really shot the ball well for us tonight.’’
Jasmine Grice led FAMU with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds.
Shakeyia Colyer had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Amanda Hairston added 10 points with nine rebounds for B-CU.
Jamie Forman added 13 points with 10 rebounds and Patrice Collie six points with 10 boards for the Rattlers.
Track and field: Brown wins half mile
Bethune-Cookman’s Ricky Brown (1:53:51) won the 800-meter dash at the Armory Invitational last week in Brooklyn, New York.
The event is formerly known as the New Balance Invitational, which is one of the largest indoor track meets in the nation with 100 schools competing.
Brown’s win was big for the Wildcats program. B-CU also had four top 10 finishes.
“It was a solid meet. We got a lot of national exposure. We are healthy and confident. I like where we are, but we must continue to work and execute,” said B-CU Coach Donald Brown.
Keron Stoute (2.04 m/6 feet-8.25 inches) finished fifth in the pole vault and La’Quan Howard (14.60m/47feet-11 inches) was seventh in the triple jump for the men’s program.
On the women’s side, Kadian Dunkley (17:32:06) finished 10th in the 5,000-meter run. Dunkley’s time was her best this season and the second best recorded in the MEAC this season.
B-CU will next compete in the MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 15-18 in Landover, Md.
Bowling and tennis
The 19th-ranked Lady Wildcats women’s bowling team recently went 2-11 at the Prairie View A&M University Invitational in Arlington, Texas.
B-CU’s two wins came over ranked opponents Stephen F. Austin (No. 13) and Alabama State (No. 20).
Felicia Baker, Rachel Moore and Staci Hilliard stood out during the weekend for the Wildcats.
The Lady Wildcats’ tennis team picked up wins over Florida State College of Jacksonville 6-1, Palm Beach Atlantic 5-2 and Coastal Georgia 6-1 at City Island in Daytona Beach last week.
Maria Dimitrova and Shereen Peterson-Paul each went 3-0 in singles play while Gaby Chinchilla and Chinatsu Kijawara went 3-0 in doubles play.