The Howard Bison men’s basketball team lost its 18th game of the season over the weekend after falling to N.C. Central State, 79-70, at Burr Gymnasium on Feb. 5. But it didn’t take them long to bounce back with a victory, making light work of South Carolina State, 65-53, in another Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest on Feb. 7.
The Bison aren’t the most physically strong team when it comes to playing offensively and defensively inside the paint. But, surprisingly, they were able to dominate SCSU on the inside, shooting 50 percent from the field (11 of 22 shots made) in the second half alone. They also reached the free throw line 19 times in the second half.
“That’s how you win games. When you make free throws and don’t turn the ball over, you have a chance to win,” said Howard first-year coach Kevin Nickelberry, who explained why his team made a halftime adjustment to attack the inside.
“We were not making our outside shots in the first half (two of nine from three-point range), so we decided to get the ball inside in the second half,” Nickelberry said. “I wanted to go through Phillips and Leary. We were able to exploit our height advantage.”
Phillips came up big for Howard, scoring a career-high 26 points, while Leary followed up with 19 points. Dadrian Collins also scored double-digits for the Bison with 12 points.
Howard (5-18 overall, 3-7 MEAC) will see its next action on Feb. 12 at North Carolina A&T.