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Cathy Hughes honored as Captain of the Day as the Bison down the Bears

Howard Bison sought redemption against the Morgan State Bears, with Cathy Hughes as captain of the day, winning 78-72.

Cathy Hughes celebrates in Howard’s locker room after victory. (Photo courtesy of Daysia Carr)

Saturday’s home matchup with the Morgan State Bears saw the Bison looking for redemption after falling to them earlier in MEAC play. 

With notable names in attendance, including media mogul and namesake of the School of Communications Cathy Hughes, who served as the captain of the day for the team, the fervor leading into the game was electrified.

“It was remarkable watching Coach Blakeney and his coaching staff, this is probably one of the highlights of my life. I was never athletic enough to even make the team, now here I am captain of a team with a record of 1-0,” Hughes said. “So, I am thankful to God and I’m thankful to Howard University and all the members of the men’s basketball team. Go Bison!”

The crowd saw a surplus of representation from Divine 9 organizations as well, with it being Howard University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek Night.

Kevin Tyson, principal of John Champe High School, located in Loudoun County, Virginia,  brought some of his students to watch the game, seeing the opportunity to expose them to HBCU culture.

John Champe High School Students spectating at Burr Gymnasium. (Photo Courtesy of Branson Brooks)

“Where I’m located is the richest county in the United States, so they don’t really get the exposure like that to HBCUs,” Tyson said. “So being a graduate of Howard, and I’m the first black man to be principal of a high school out there, I want to expose them to as much as I can.”

Before tip-off, Howard freshman forward AJ Magbegor gave credit to the coaching staff for getting the team ready to face the Bears in an exciting rematch.

“Credit to our coaches in helping our preparation, it has been very thorough. Making sure everyone is on the same page is important in winning games,” Magbegor said.  “We as a team have worked hard for this game. I believe it’ll be an exciting game and we’re hoping to come out with a win.”

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In the first half, neither team would create major separation with early turnovers stopping players from gaining rhythm. In the final seconds of the first half, Morgan State guard Wynston Tabbs hit a three-pointer to put the Bears up 37-35 going into halftime.

Wynston Tabbs #1 is being guarded by Ose Okeje #11. (Photo courtesy of Daysia Carr)

The pace would remain the same during the second half, with neither team willing to give up easy buckets. 

However, as the Bison saw contributions from numerous players including grad transfer guard Jordan Hairston, who got the start in place of injured guard Isaiah Warfield, they were able to obtain and hold on to the lead for much of the half.

A turnover by the Bears led to crucial free throw trips for the Bison and put the game out of reach, the final score reading 78-72 in favor of the Bison.

Shy Odom #22 at the free throw line. (Photo Courtesy of Daysia Carr)

Five players scored in double figures for the Bison including; sophomore guard Shy Odom, who led the way with 16 points and five rebounds, grad transfer forward Seth Towns, junior guard Bryce Harris, Jordan Hairston and junior guard Marcus Dockery.

Head coach Kenneth Blakeney believes the connectivity shown on the offensive end is the style of play needed from the Bison to be successful consistently.

“To have the ability where all five guys are playing in unison is really important for us. With the way we play. We give our players a lot of freedom,” Blakeney said.

Cathy Hughes embracing Jordan Hairston #23 after the win. (Photo courtesy of Daysia Carr)

The Bison are now 6-4 in the MEAC and are tied for second place with North Carolina Central and South Carolina State. The Bison will suit up next to play Coppin State on Feb. 26.

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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