MORAGA, CALIF. - For a team looking to snap a six-game losing streak, the Paladins of Furman University appeared to be the most likely candidate for the Howard University Bison men's basketball team. The Paladins entered the game winless, having lost 12 in a row dating back to last season, and 15 out of 16 overall.
And when you look at the final game statistics, all indications are that the Bison won the game. Howard (3-11) shot a season-high 66 percent from the field, out-rebounded an opponent for only the third time this season, held a huge advantage in points-in-the-paint and tied a season-high for blocked shots with 7.
But there is just one statistic that really counts and that is on the scoreboard where the Bison came up short, 67-62 in the consolation game of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic at McKeon Pavilion.
The game was indicative of two teams desperate for a win. Howard took an early lead and held and eight-point lead before a series of turnovers and failed opportunities on offense allowed the Paladins (1-11) to reel off an 8-1 run during the last 5:44 to take a 32-31 lead to the locker room.
Furman, from the Southern Conference, used an 11-2 run at the beginning of the second half en route to the biggest lead of the game at 43-33 before the Bison responded with a 9-0 run to get within 43-42 at the 11:27 mark.
The rally was fueled by sophomore forward Kandi Mukole and freshman guard Kyle Riley who combined for nine points.
Howard appeared to be in good shape at that point but a series of clutch shots by Furman guard Justin Dehm, who scored a game-high 23 points and reserve forward George Brozos, who tallied all 12 of his points after intermission proved to be the difference. On three different occasions, the Bison were in a position to get the lead or tie and each time the Furman duo provided the dagger.
Howard junior guard Eugene Myatt, in his second game back after missing the previous two with an injured knee, scored a team-high 19 points while Riley and Mukole contributed 14 and 11, respectively. The trio combined for 17-for-23 shooting from the field.
Turnovers have plagued the Bison all season and this game was no different as they committed 23 that the Paladins converted into 22 points.
GAME NOTES: Howard was credited with only 5 assists on their 23 field goals...the Bison are on pace to have a record-breaking season in blocked shots...they came into the game averaging almost 5 per game and had 7...sophomore Paul Kirkpatrick and Mukole each had 3...10 of Furman's 20 made field goals were three-point baskets.
NEXT UP: Howard begins conference play on Saturday, January 12 when it hosts Bethune-Cookman University at 4 pm in Burr Gymnasium.