Despite a final second three-pointer by Howard freshman guard Imani Bailey, a 10-2 Hampton University run dealt Howard University its first loss at home and in conference play, 52-50, on Jan. 12 at Burr Gymnasium in Washington, D.C.
The first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference loss dropped Howard to 7-7 this season, 4-1 at home and 2-1 in conference play.
Howard’s offense campaign was led by senior guard Saadia Doyle, who had 14 points; a fellow Atlanta, Ga., native, freshman forward Victoria Gonzalez, added 10 points. Doyle also led in rebounding with six, as senior guard Cheyenne Curley-Payne finished with three assists and three steals.
As a team, Howard shot 39 percent from the field, 33 percent from the behind the arc and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
Despite five lead changes and eight ties, Howard maintained home-court advantage for the entire first half and well into the second half. The first 20 minutes were the lowest first-half scoring outing for both teams, as Howard and Hampton went possession-for-possession several times without scoring.
Howard used a 4-0 run to build a six-point lead, the largest of the first half. Hampton senior forward Keiara Avant put her offense power to bear to bring the Lady Pirates within one point, until another Howard run extended their lead by halftime to 20-16.
After the halftime intermission, Howard showed fans why they were the preseason favorite, taking a 10-point lead by the 16:44 mark of the second-half.
But with 11 minutes left to go, Howard lost its power, succumbing to a 10-2 Hampton run which made it a 38-38 tie by the 6:14 mark. The two squads exchanged scores until a 6-3 run by Hampton silenced Burr Gymnasium with 21 seconds remaining.
Hampton advanced to 12-5 this season and 3-0 in the MEAC.
Howard faces the Norfolk State Lady Spartans at home Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in a national-televised game to be aired on ESPNU.