List of Injured Continues to Grow as Bison Fall To Northwestern
Evanston, Ill. - Down to only eight players in uniform, Howard University had no answer for Northwestern University as it dropped a 77-51 decision in a non-conference men's game at the Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The list of the hobbling players continues to grow. Leading scorer Eugene Myatt (knee contusion) and reserve center Nate Cooper (knee contusion) joined starting forward Randy Hampton (concussion) and starting point guard Jeron Smith (knee) on the unable-to-play list. That group accounts for 35 points and 12 rebounds per game among them.
This all started before the season even began when projected starting point guard Julius Hearn (a Chicago native) injured his knee and had surgery, thus missing the whole season and his trip back home.
The Wildcats (5-4) took advantage of Howard's 10th different starting lineup this season by forcing turnovers and turning them into easy baskets. Northwestern broke the game open early with a 16-1 run midway through the first half that gave them a 25-5 advantage and ultimately a 42-18 halftime advantage.
The Bison, who have dropped four straight, aided the Wildcats' cause by allowing 18 of the 42 first half points off turnovers. Using its bench liberally, Northwestern limited Howard to only 6 field goals and 23 percent shooting from the field.
The Bison (3-9) played better in the second half as freshman guard Kyle Riley scored 8 of his team-high 14 points after intermission and sophomore center Paul Kirkpatrick added 7 of his 11. They were the only Howard players to score in double figures.
The play of Riley, who led the team in scoring for the second straight game and Kirkpatrick, who made all three of his shots from the field and went to the free throw line eight times, is encouraging as it will help when the injured starters return.
Freshman Torrance Timothy added six points in his first start and sophomore Adam Walker continued his shot blocking party with 3, bringing his total on the season to a team-high 14.
The Wildcats were led by Sterling Williams and Jason Okrzesik, who each tallied 12 and Baran Nikola and Jeff Ryan, who contributed 11 and 10, respectively. All 16 of Northwestern's players got clock, 14 of them scoring.
NEXT UP: The Bison have little time to heal as they travel across town to take on the Flames of the University of Illinois at Chicago in a 3 pm tip-off on Saturday. The Wildcats are off until January 2 when they host Penn State in their conference opener.