Howard Uses Long Ball To Down NC A&T
Washington, D.C. - Howard has struggled all season finding consistency from the three-point line, hitting on a woeful 26 percent. And after missing 11 of their attempts from beyond the arc in the first half and trailing, 32-31, there was little hope that things would change.
But the Bison continued to dial long distance and finally get the answer they were looking for, connecting on 47 percent (7 of 15) and that was good enough to get by North Carolina A&T, 66-58 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium. The win snapped an eight-game losing skid for Howard (6-23 overall, 3-11 in the MEAC) while the Aggies fell to 14-14 and 8-6 in the MEAC.
Curtis White, Randy Hampton and Kandi Mukole each had two three pointers in the second half, propelling the Bison to a 16-8 run over the last 5 minutes of the game.
"We finally knocked down some big shots," said a relieved Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "We defended them well and did a great job of rebounding. Kandi (Mukole) did an awesome job on the boards." Mukole finished with a career-high 10 rebounds while also adding three blocked shots.
Added White, who finished with 14 points. "In practice, we've been stepping it up. Coach emphasized defense and making shots."
The Bison defense was as important as the new-found shooting range from behind the arc. Aggies' sharpshooter and All-MEAC standout Steven Rush, was limited to 11 points on 3 of 9 shooting. Rush came into the game averaging almost 15 points and had torched Howard for 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting on February 2 in Greensboro, NC.
"Randy and Eugene played him tough all game,' said Coach Jackson. ‘We wanted to make him work for everything and cut down on his transition baskets. You can only slow him down."
Hampton led the Bison with 16 points, Myatt added 15, 13 coming in the first half and Mukole came off the bench to score eight key points down the stretch. Freshman Adam Walker also made a significant contribution with six points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Aggies got a game-high 18 points from Jason Wills, 11 from Rush and 10 from Ewing.
NEXT UP: NC A&T will try to get back on track when it travels to Hampton, VA to take on the Pirates of Hampton University on Monday at 7:30 pm while the Bison close out the home schedule on Monday against the Spartans of Norfolk State University on Monday at 8:15 pm. It will be Senior Night for guard Jeron Smith, who will be playing his last game in a Bison uniform.