Freshman guard Avery Moore scored nine of his 11 points in the second half and sophomore forward Amin Stevens tallied seven of his 13 after intermission to help Florida A&M University (FAMU) outlast the Howard University 45-38, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game at the Lawson Center in Tallahassee, Fla.

The game featured poor shooting from the field and the free-throw line on both sides. Both teams were looking for their first conference win of the season and the nervousness showed. Florida A&M (3-15 overall, 0-5 MEAC) were able to get a slight 19-14 advantage in the first 20 minutes, a lead that seemed to be larger in a game where close range shots and layups didn’t come easy.

The difference was at the free throw line, where Florida A&M was able to get six of its points on a poor 6-of-14 shooting from line, while Howard converted only two of seven free throws.

Stevens was able to help his team get some breathing room midway through the second half as he scored six points during an eight-minute stretch that saw FAMU open an 11-point lead.

Howard (2-16 overall, 0-6 in the MEAC) was able to stay within striking distance on the scoring of sophomore forward Mike Phillips, who scored seven of his team-high 10 points in the second half and senior guard Kyle Riley, who added six of his eight points in the final 20 minutes.

But Florida A&M senior forward Larry Jackson knocked down some key free throws and Moore hit a back-breaking three-pointer to stave off the rally and give the team their first conference win of the season.

FAMU was led by Stevens with 11 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson with 8 points and a team-high 14 rebounds and Moore with 11.

Howard’s Phillips recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds, despite the loss, while Howard freshman center Alphonso Leary contributed 6 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

NEXT UP: Howard will try to stop its losing skid when it takes on Bethune-Cookman on Jan. 24 at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., while Florida A&M will host Hampton University at the Lawson Center in Tallahasee.
 

Ed Hill Jr.

Special to the AFRO