Florida A&M closed out the first half with a 13-3 run and continued with a 21-6 run in the second, including a 14-0 stretch, to rally back from an 11-point deficit and take the 69-55 win over the Presbyterian College men's basketball team in the final game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational held at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
PC drops to 0-6 overall, while Florida A&M picks up its first win of the season to go to 1-5.
Leading PC was Joshua Clyburn with 14 and Khalid Mutakabbir with 13. Ryan McTavish finished with 10 points, just one shy of his career-high. William Truss led the rebounding effort with seven. Jamie Adams paced Florida A&M with 23 points, followed by Jamari Bradshaw with his 12. Walter Davis led the team in rebounds with nine.
The Rattlers shot 40.6% from the field, going 26-of-64. PC was 19-of-42 for 45.2% from the field. FAMU had 10 less turnovers, 15-25, and five more steals, 12-7. PC hit 14-of-20 free throws, while FAMU hit 11-of-14.
The Rattlers controlled points in the paint, 34-20 and held an 18-14 advantage in points off turnovers.
A tied ballgame midway through the first half turned into a five point lead for Florida A&M after the Rattlers hit a three-pointer by Adams and jumper by Walter Davis to lead 11-6 with 14:58 left in the first.
PC rallied with six straight, capped by a McTavish three-pointer and a tip-in by Clyburn, to retake the lead 14-11, with 12:10 on the clock. FAMU ended the drought with a free throw at the 10:26 mark.
Trailing 21-14, the Rattlers scored the next sox of the game's nine points to cut the margin to four, 24-20. The lone PC points came from McTavish's three-pointer at 5:35. McTavish converted his third three-pointer of the game to end the rally and give the Blue Hose the seven-point 27-20 lead.
PC scored the next four to take a 31-20 lead with 3:55 to go before Florida A&M used a 13-3 run, ignited by a three-pointer by Muhamme Abdul-Aleem, to cut the PC lead to just one, 34-33 with 44 seconds left before intermission. Both teams came away empty on their possessions and the half ended at 34-33.
Florida A&M opened the second half with four straight to take a 37-34 lead until PC responded with six unanswered off baskets by Clyburn, Austin Anderson and Jordan Downing, to retake the lead at 40-37 with 16:05 to go. Bradshaw tied the game for FAMU at 40-40 with a three-pointer at 15:47, however.
The Rattlers scored 14 more, capped by two three-pointers by Jamie Adams and three straight baskets by Markee Teal, to run out to a 54-40 lead with 10:05 remaining.
A Clyburn free throw at 9:42 gave PC its first points in just over seven minutes. Mutakabbir hit a basket at 8:01 to cut the margin to 12 at 56-44 with 8:01 on the clock. Florida A&M took advantage of clutch offensive rebounds and PC turnovers to take a 64-47 lead with 3:53 left, off an 8-2 run.
Downing recorded two free throws and added a basket, along with Mutakabbir, to use a 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 12, 65-53, with 2:20 left. That would be as close as the Blue Hose would get, falling by the final 69-55 score.
The Blue Hose return home Tuesday, Nov. 27 to host Toccoa Falls in a 7 p.m. game at Templeton Center.