By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Now that winter break is over the march toward college basketball tournament time is on at Howard, Bowie and Morgan State.  Inexperience and injuries have caused inconsistency for all three programs but there is reason to believe that neither team has rounded into peak form as the season moves towards conference play.

BEARS TOP BISON THEN LOSE TWICE IN CAROLINA

Morgan had to wait an extra day to travel south to meet Howard because of the snowstorm that temporarily paralyzed the DMV.  However, this edition of the Battle of the Beltways needed extra time as the Bears edged the Bison 89-86 at Burr Gymnasium.

Morgan State’s Stanley Davis was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Week then led them to a big MEAC win over Howard. (Courtesy Photo)

Junior guard Stanley Davis hit the go-ahead free throw with 48 seconds left in overtime, but it was his team high 21 points that led Morgan to victory.  Davis, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Week hours before game time, also made life miserable for Howard’s R.J. Cole who was held to 12 points and missed a free throw that would have sealed Morgan’s fate at the end of regulation.

Sophomore guard Kyson Rawls, who added 17 points with two assists and two steals sent the game into the extra period after converting Cole’s miss into a layup at the horn.  In overtime junior forward David Syfax was fouled hard by Andre Touré on a breakaway. The Detroit product stepped up and knocked in a pair of clutch free throws to give the Bears an 83-80 lead with 27 seconds remaining.

Howard wasted a game high 27-point seven-rebound effort from Charles Williams while Chad Lott added 24 points and five rebounds in the loss.

BEARS AND BISON LOSE ON MLK DAY

Momentum was short lived for Morgan who lost both games in North Carolina the following weekend.  In Greensboro, the Bears fell 57-53 to NCA&T wasting another solid effort from Davis who finished with 18 points. Morgan, who leads the MEAC in free throw shooting, made only nine of 16 from the charity stripe, which sealed their fate.

The Bears’ leading scorer Stanley Davis never found his rhythm at N.C. Central finishing with eight points while making three of nine shots and shot just twice from the free throw line (2-2 FTs). Randy Miller Jr. made seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points leading the Eagles to the 92-64 victory over the Bears.

Meanwhile, Howard recovered from the Morgan loss at S.C. State behind   Cole and Lott combining for 45 points for a 71-67 overtime win.  Cole finished with 26 points, making four of seven three pointers, while Lott scored 19 points.

However, Harvard overmatched the Bison in their MLK Day matinee’ beating them 84-71 in the District. The Bison were led by Cole, who finished with a game-high 21 points and eight assists as Williams dropped 19 points with five rebounds while Lott chipped in 16 points, five assists, and three rebounds.

Harvard outrebounded the Bison 40-33 and made 22 of 24 free throws while Howard made only 13 of 22. During halftime Howard alum Congresswoman Kamala Harris made an appearance after she announced her presidential candidacy.

BOWIE STOPS LINCOLN ON MLK WEEKEND

Bowie State outscored Lincoln 24-6 behind the three-point arc to earn a 78-73 win Saturday at A.C. Jordan arena.  The Lions outscored the Bulldogs 46-18 in the paint, scored 21 points off 19 Bowie State turnovers and had 17-second chance points.

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Lions 43-39 with nine blocks on the afternoon.  Juniors David Belle and Juwan Smith led Bowie St. with 17 and 16 points respectively as Saiquan Jamison finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds.