Howard University men’s basketball team saw its best performance so far this season from its freshman class as guards Simuel Frazier and Brandon Ford led an all-freshman starting lineup with career-highs in points in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) contest Feb. 4. Frazier scored 20 points while Ford followed with 16 points, but the Bison still fell, 78-65, against University of Maryland- Eastern Shore (5-16 overall, 2-6 MEAC) at the W.P. Hytche Center in Princess Anne, Md.

This was the second straight game that Howard started five freshmen and its youngest players took immediate advantage of the additional playing time, especially Frazier who scored six more points than his previous career-high of 14 points. Freshman forward Prince Okoroh also played well, scoring all 14 of his points in the second half.

Unfortunately for Howard, UMES had too many scorers to keep up with. Senior guard Hilary Haley led the game with 21 points, while teammates Tyler Hines, a senior forward, and Percy Woods, a junior guard, followed with 16 points each. Sophomore center Ronald Spencer added 13 points for UMES, who shot nearly 60 percent from the field as a team throughout the second half.

“We played with a lot of effort early on, but once Mike Phillips went out with injury, we never mentally got back into the game,” Howard head coach Kevin Nickelberry said. “For us to be successful, we have to get more bench production and get defensive stops at crucial times. Having said all that, I am still confident that the future is bright for us.”

Howard (5-18 overall, 2-8 MEAC) will face MEAC rival Morgan State on Feb. 6 in Baltimore, Md.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor