Senior guard Kyle Riley scored a team-high 14 points and sophomore guard Anton Dickerson added 13 points in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome the production of the North Carolina A&T bench as Howard University fell, 68-49, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game on Feb. 12 at the Corbett Sports Center in Greensboro, N.C.

Howard (5-19 overall, 3-8 in the MEAC) was able to stay within striking distance through most of the first half. Riley and sophomore forward Mike Phillips combined for 18 of their team’s points, but the team was unable to match the scoring of MEAC Player of the Year candidate Thomas Coleman. The A&T senior center/forward contributed 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds.

North Carolina A&T (11-14 overall, 6-5 in the MEAC) extended their halftime lead of 41-34 to 14 over the first five minutes of the second half, but Dickerson fueled a Howard rally by scoring his team’s first 11 points of the second half to cut the deficit to six.

The rally was short-lived as A&T went to its bench early and often in an attempt to wear down the undermanned Howard squad. Reserve sophomore forwards DaMetrius Upchurch (10 points) and Austin Witter (seven points) combined to give A&T their biggest lead of the game at 19. The weary Howard had no answer as North Carolina pulled away.

A&T shot 51 percent from the floor, held a whopping 44-14 advantage in the paint, and outscored the Bison bench, 24-2. Four of the five Howard starters played more than 34 minutes. North Carolina A&T, meanwhile, fielded 12 players during the game.

Phillips contributed 11 points and six rebounds in a losing cause while sophomore forward Dadrian Collins added nine.

A&T’s Coleman finished with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, sophomore forward Adrian Powell added 12 and Upchurch chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Howard will travel to Norfolk, Va. to take on the Spartans of Norfolk State on Monday at 8 p.m. while North Carolina A&T will host Hampton University on Monday at 7 p.m.

Ed Hill Jr.

Special to the AFRO