By Caleb Brown, Staff Reporter
On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Morgan State Bears (13-13) defeated the Howard Bison (2-24) with a score of 89-83.
The game opened up with both teams taking 30-second violations to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant who passed along with seven other victims in a helicopter crash on Jan. 20.
The game started slowly, with both teams turning over the ball. The first points came from Morgan State’s Stanley Davis on a fastbreak layup after a turnover by the Bison. Davis finished the game with 14 points, six assists and four rebounds. The majority of the Bears’ 89 points were scored in the paint.
Both teams struggled to find their rhythm and get into their respective offenses. Early turnovers by the Bison and miscommunication allowed the Bears to extend their lead for a score of 13-5. Howard’s Zion Cousins, who finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, was able to swing some momentum towards the Bison with a rebound and tip-in. After a few hustle plays made by the Bison, they were able to cut the lead down to two points for a score of 13-11.
Howard’s starting guards, Charles Williams, Nate Garvey and Wayne Bristol Jr., took turns scoring crucial points for the Bison. In the final six minutes of the half, the lead changed six times. With 4:59 left in the half, Garvey hit a three to give Howard its first lead of the game with a score of 30-29. The first half ended with the Bears retaking the lead after a three by Malik Miller for a score of 43-41.
Unfortunately for the Bison, the momentum they gained in the first half didn’t transfer over to the second half. The Bears came out and scored a few quick points extending their lead to six for a score of 49-43.
They crashed the boards and outrebounded the Bison on both sides of the floor despite the efforts of Junior Forward Zion Cousins and Freshman Guard Wayne Bristol Jr., who combined for half of the Bison’s second-half rebounds.
With 11:08 left in the game, Miller sunk a free throw off an and-one play giving the Bears their largest lead of the night at 16 points for a score of 64-48. For the next few minutes, Morgan State kept Howard at a double-digit deficit until it dropped to a nine-point lead with 7:11 left in the game. It wasn’t until there were four minutes left that the Bison began to claw their way back into the game with back to back three-pointers made by Bristol Jr. and Garvey, cutting the lead to seven.
After consecutive blocks and a jumper in the paint, Cousins was able to cut the lead down to 3 points with 48 seconds left to play. Unfortunately, a Bison turnover with 24 seconds left gave the ball back to Morgan State. After being fouled, Morgan State’s guard Sherwyn Devonish-Prince Jr. hit two free throws that put the game out of reach for the Bison.