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Howard men’s basketball return to March Madness following championship win

The Bison are back in the dance after securing a win against Delaware State University in the MEAC championship game. 

Grad transfer Seth Towns embracing grad transfer Isaiah Warfield. (Photo Courtesy of Daysia Carr.)

The Howard men’s basketball team has secured a 2024 NCAA tournament berth after beating the Delaware State Hornets with a final score of 70-67. 

This marks the Bison’s second consecutive March Madness trip and makes the team the winningest college program in the DMV since 2021 with a record of 56-42 over the past three years. 

In the back-and-forth March 16 game that saw both teams working for buckets in the paint, the Bison were able to get pivotal defensive stops during the final minutes to help them secure the win.

 Jordan Hairston, a grad transfer guard, led the team with 18 points, while forwards Seth Towns and Bryce Harris both added 16 points. Guard Marcus Dockery chipped in 15 points as well.

With Hairston getting the starting nod for the latter half of the season, he was glad to see the team’s preparation come to fruition on the biggest stage.

“It feels amazing, it just goes to show when preparation meets opportunity, great things happen,” Hairston said.

Grad transfer Jordan Hairston holding MEAC trophy. (Photo courtesy of Daysia Carr.)

Members of the Bison managerial staff were ecstatic as well to see the Bison overcome the hump once again, especially after such an up-and-down season.

Na’Im Briggs, a junior political science major with a secondary minor, currently serves as the team statistician.

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“It feels great to repeat as MEAC champions,” Briggs said. “It was certainly a challenging season, fighting the feeling of what we call ‘intoxication’ after winning the first one and reminding ourselves to stay in the mindset of hunting a championship rather than defending one.”

Briggs alluded to the various challenges the Bison overcame throughout the year as evidence of this team’s character.

“Doing that in conjunction with the injuries that mixed up different starting lineups and rotations is truly a testament to the resiliency and strength of everybody on the roster and everybody on the staff, from top to bottom,” Briggs said. “The job isn’t done though, it’s a quick turnaround. In the beginning of the season, we didn’t set our goals to cap off at winning only the conference. We can make a run in the tournament and our sights are set on making sure we are ready for any and every opponent we have to play.” 

The significance of the win was not lost on Destiny Hall, a senior health education major and part of the on-court staff.

“Every win that they’ve had this season, they deserved it. Every loss, they took it, they went to work and they got better each practice. This wasn’t just something exciting for the team, but for the coaches as well, because I know how much time, effort and dedication truly goes into being a part of the team,” Hall said.

Kenneth Blakeney with his daughter after the win. (Photo Courtesy of Daysia Carr.)

The Bison will now matchup against Wagner University on March 19 in a 16 seed battle. The winner will play the University of North Carolina, who sits as the one seed of the Western Region. 

Copy edited by Jalyn Lovelady

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