WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kandi Mukole scored 13 of his career-high 17 points in the second half and Eugene Myatt poured in 16 of his game-high 20 to lead Howard University to a 69-63 come-from-behind win over LaSalle University in a non-conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium.
Mukole, a 6-8 sophomore from the Belgium Congo, added 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career as he and Myatt helped erase a 17-point second half deficit by fueling 41-18 run over the last 18:23 of the game.
Mukole did most of his damage around the basket with power moves that drew fouls and sent him to the free throw line where he hit on 7 of 11.
"I felt that I wasn't stepping up the last couple of games," said Mukole. "The coaches told me I had to contribute more because we cannot continue to depend on Eugene (Myatt)."
Myatt, a 6-5 junior guard from Philadelphia, PA, was coming off a 36-point performance in the win over Pennsylvania, but he was relatively quiet through the first 20 minutes. Then he began to assert himself in the second half by using his long arms to score on a variety of shots against the Explorers. He hit on 6 of 10 shots from the field and 6 of 11 from the charity stripe.
"I decided to be more aggressive," said Myatt. "I wanted us to get into a rhythm, instead of trying to force things like we did in the first half. Once we did that, we gained momentum and went on that run."
Howard (2-2) also got a boost from junior forward Randy Hampton, who bulldozed his way to 10 points.
The Bison came out sluggish and trailed 14-0 to start the game. They clawed their way back into the game on several occasions only to have the Explorers answer each time on the scoring of Rodney Green (17 points), Jerrell Williams (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Kimmani Barrett, who scored 12 points off the bench.
LaSalle (1-2) expanded its halftime lead to the biggest of the game at 45-28 with 18:23 in the second half. That is when the Bison went to work, challenging shots, forcing turnovers and exhibiting more aggression on offense.
"We showed a lot of character to come back," said Jackson. "We dug ourselves into a deep hole. Last year, we wouldn't have come back. Today we had somebody step up and make some big plays. This was a character win tonight."
GAME NOTES: Howard had a season low 8 turnovers while forcing 18 by LaSalle...the Explorers held a 48-36 advantage on the boards, but it was offset by the Bison's 35 freee throw attempts...sophomore Curtis White, who is recovering from surgery, struggled with his shooting but he contributed an important 8 points and 5 rebounds...Howard had a season-best 7 blocks as Adam Walker and Jeron Smith each had 2.
NEXT UP: The Bison play Loyola of Maryland on Friday at 12 noon at the Palestra as they attempt to win three in a row for the first time in almost 2 years.