Former Tennessee Volunteer legend and current Florida A&M Rattlers head coach Bridgette Gordon gets her first win of her current tenure as the Rattlers defeat the Jacksonville Dolphins, 59-54. After playing juggernauts like the Universities of Florida, Tennessee, and California, Florida A&M moves to 1-4 on the season with the victory, while Jacksonville falls to 2-2.
Neither team held a significant lead in the first quarter. After the opening period, FAMU clung to a 13-12 advantage. Rattler Nashani Gilbert was particularly active on both ends. In just one quarter, she recorded five points, two assists, two steals, and a rebound. She assisted Peryonna Sylvester on a layup, which helped her rack up four early points along with two rebounds.
The Rattlers put a little bit of separation between them and the Dolphins in the second quarter. Multiple times, they jumped out to a seven-point lead. While the Florida A&M offense did well by scoring 16 points in the quarter, the defense locked the Dolphins up. For the final five minutes of the half, Jacksonville scored twice. The defense was key as their offense hit a snag in the same time frame, only scoring six points. Going into the break, FAMU led 29-24.
Florida A&M's trend of extending the lead continued after halftime. They opened the third quarter with an 11-4 run. For a brief moment, the Rattlers took a 45-30 lead, their biggest margin of the game. Jacksonville's Julisa Dunlap immediately cut into the lead with a layup, but FAMU led by double-digits for the rest of the quarter.
Jacksonville began to wrestle control back from the Rattlers in the final quarter, but they ran out of time. Over the course of seven minutes, the Dolphins went on a 15-5 run to decrease the deficit. At the end of the run, they trailed the Rattlers by just two points at 55-53. Unfortunately for them, the Dolphins ran out of steam in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Their opportunity to complete the comeback frittered away due to turnovers and missed free throws. As Florida A&M walked away with the 59-54 victory, the team showered Bridgette Gordon with water in celebration of her first victory.
— Florida A&M Women’s Basketball 🏀 (@FAMU_WBB) November 25, 2023
Saniyah Craig led the way for the Dolphins. She made all of her shots, going 6-6 for 16 points, six rebounds, a block and a steal, but she also had four turnovers. Edyn Battle turned the ball over nine times, but she also had 10 points, three steals, and drained two three-pointers.
Florida A&M had three players score in double-digits. Ahriahna Grizzle led all players with 21 points, three assists, four steals, and eight turnovers. Nashani Gilbert finished with 15 points, four steals, and five assists. Peryonna Sylvester led all bench players with 11 points and four rebounds.
FAMU heads to Huntsville, TX, for their next game against Sam Houston on Dec. 1.