TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With under a minute remaining, the Howard University (HU) Lady Bison women’s basketball team raced to a nail-biting 58-57 win over the Florida A&M (FAMU) Lady Rattlers in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 16.

HU opened the contest with an eight-point lead by the first media timeout at 14:12.

By the next media timeout, FAMU came within three on a 9-4 run at 15-12.

The Lady Rattlers continued their home-court dominance with an 8-4 run for the first lead of the half, 20-19.

Florida A&M went on to lead the contest at halftime, 29-26.

When Howard returned to the court, senior guard Kara Smith scored a basket from long range to tie the contest 29-29 at the 19:51 mark.

Howard and FAMU remained tied until the 15:07 mark, when senior guard Saadia Doyle scored two points on a pair from the free-throw line.

Florida A&M put Howard on their heels, when the Lady Rattlers took a 47-45 lead and maintained the lead until the 1:32 mark when HU’s sophomore forward Cheyenne Curley-Payne paced the Lady Bison to victory.

With 1:32 on the scoreboard and Howard down 55-52, Curley-Payne dropped in a pair at the charity stripe, bringing the Lady Bison within two. Smith scored a three-pointer at the 44.4-second mark for a one-point lead.

Florida A&M junior guard Jasmine Grice regained the lead from the free-throw line, but Howard pulled out the victory with a layup by redshirt junior Jerelle Gorham with 10 seconds left in the game.

Doyle, who was a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe, finished with 23 points. Smith tallied 13 points, while Curley-Payne notched nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

As a unit, the Lady Bison shot 41 percent from the field (23-of-56), 29 percent from the three-point arc (4-of-14) and 67 percent from the free-throw (8-of-12).

Statistically, Howard outscored FAMU in the paint (24-to-12), off second chances (13-to-4) and off the fast break (2-to-0).

Howard returns to action on Feb. 18 to take on Bethune-Cookman at 5:30 p.m. in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Ariel V. Germain

AFRO Staff Writers