TATE, FOUL SHOTS LIFT RATTLERS PAST HAMPTON

Rattlers improve to 9-8 in MEAC with one game left before tourney

<b>Tony Tate</b> scored 22 points to help lead FAMU past Hampton Wednesday.

Tony Tate scored 22 points to help lead FAMU past Hampton Wednesday.

March 1, 2006

HAMPTON, Va. - The Florida A&M Rattlers made 20-of-24 free throws in the second half to escape with a 73-65 win over host Hampton University Wednesday night.

With the game tied at 35 at the half, the Rattlers (13-16, 9-8 MEAC) took advantage of their superior guard play, while also dominating on the boards to seize control of the ball game.

After Hampton's Junior Pehoua hit a jumper to give the Pirates a 42-41 lead with 16:29 remaining, Florida A&M answered with a 9-2 run of its own to regain a lead that the Rattlers would never relinquish.

Point guard Tony Tate found his way into the lane for consecutive baskets with five minutes to play, and when he wasn't scoring from the field, he was doing it at the line where he made 6-of-8 in the second half.

And on the rare occasions when Tate wasn't penetrating and finding teammates for easy baskets, Brian Greene was hitting the glass and helping the Rattlers earn crucial second chance opportunities.

Greene posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and made nine of his 10 free throw attempts.

On the flip side, the Pirates (12-15, 10-8 MEAC) couldn't find their offensive rhythm as they shot just 36 percent in the second half, making just 12-of-33 attempts from the field.

However, despite their troubles they were still trailing by just two, 59-57, with fewer than five minutes to play.

But the Rattlers secured the win by making 10-of-12 free throws in the final four minutes.

Tate finished with a game-high 22 points and eight assists for Florida A&M, who also got 15 points from Rome Sanders.

Junior Pehoua's 13 points off the bench led Hampton, and Bruce Brown and Adrian Woodard added 11 and 10 points respectively.

WHAT'S NEXT: Florida A&M will host archrival Bethune-Cookman Saturday during the third annual FAMU Basketball Homecoming and Reunion in Gaither Gym. Tipoff is 4 p.m.

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