Howard Rally Falls Short in Loss To Norfolk State
Washington, DC—February 4—Howard University rallied from a 20-point second half deficit to tie the game, but a late free throw by Al “Davon Thomas proved to the difference as Norfolk State held on for a 65-64 win in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men’s game at Burr Gymnasium.
The Spartans (7-13 overall, 6-4 in the MEAC) appeared on their way to an easy win after opening up a 46-26 lead with a little over 14 minutes in the second half.
But the Bison (2-17 overall, 1-9 in the MEAC) staged a furious comeback by running off a 38-18 run to tie the game at 64-all with 12 seconds remaining. Senior guard Louis Ford (9 of his 12 points after intermission) of Howard completed the comeback with a three-point play.
Norfolk State dribbled the ball up the court and after a collision among several players, Howard’s Darryl Hudson was called for a blocking foul, sending Thomas to the free throw line with 2.3 seconds left on the clock. Thomas made the first and missed the second.
Junior guard Will Gant heaved a shot from 75 feet that bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded and the Bison were left with their 11th straight loss.
`”We are not good enough to spot teams like Norfolk State a 20-point lead and be able to win,” said Howard first-year head coach Gil Jackson. “To get over that hump, we have to develop mental toughness and it’s just not there yet.” Nine of the Bison’s losses during the streak are by an average of under 4 points.
Howard trailed the Spartans, 29-17 at the half due to cold shooting (28 percent) and a disadvantage on the boards (25-6).
“I wasn’t expecting us to come out flat like that,” admitted Jackson. “I think their size intimidated us at the beginning of the game. But we played with a little more confidence and sense of urgency in the second half.”
Hudson played a key role in the rally by pouring in 19 of his career-high 23 points as did Eugene Myatt (9 of his 11) and Gant (all 10 coming in the second half).
Norfolk State was led by senior Calvin Brown (17 points, 8 rebounds) and Brian Faulcon and Tony Murphy, who contributed 11 and 10, respectively.
NEXT UP: Norfolk State travels to Princess Anne, MD to take on the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday at 7:30 p.m. while Howard will try to snap its streak when it hosts rival Hampton University at 8 p.m.