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Howard Basketball concludes regular season, prepares for MEAC Championship

The Howard Bison lost the final game 77-58 to Norfolk State University, ending the 15-16 season. The team now aims for a MEAC tournament win, eyeing the NCAA bid.

Howard University men’s basketball breaks huddle after timeout. (Photo courtesy of Naledi Malunga.)

The Howard men’s basketball team fell 77-58 in their season finale against the Norfolk State Spartans. With the loss, the Bison will end the regular season with a record of 15-16 (9-5 MEAC), while the Spartans captured the MEAC regular season outright title.

In their last five games, the Bison earned a 4-1 record, gaining some momentum heading into the MEAC tournament, where they hope to win their second conference championship in a row and a ticket to the 2024 National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) tournament.

Howard Bison Coach Kenny Blakeney believes even through the tough loss to Norfolk State on Mar. 7, the team’s original goal for the season is still in reach.

“Our goal ultimately at the end of the year is to position ourselves to win the MEAC tournament,” Blakeney said. “We want to go to the NCAA tournament. It’s a big accomplishment for our program, and we’ve had one of the toughest schedules in the league.”

The Bison have played 18 out of 31 games this season on the road, three of them taking place in neutral sites. With the MEAC tournament taking place in Norfolk, Virginia, going into an environment that the team has seen before could benefit them.

“We’ve played as many road games as any team in our league. I think we’re probably second or third with the most road games, and that comes with the success that we’ve had in the past, right?” Blakeney said. 

Three players who were a part of the Bison’s 2023 MEAC championship run remain on the roster: junior guards Bryce Harris and Marcus Dockery and sophomore forward Shyheim Odom.

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Harris believes the standards instilled from last year’s championship run remain.  

“I have a lot of confidence in the team that we have this year. We have some different guys, but honestly, the principle stayed the same and the standards stayed the same as well,” Harris said. “So I have a lot of confidence coming in the MEAC tournament, coming in and for our chance to win the whole thing and make another appearance at the NCAA tournament.”

The Bison will begin the quest for a March Madness bid against Morgan State University on March 14.

Copy edited by Jalyn Lovelady

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