Undermanned Bison Drop Fourth Straight
Chicago, Ill-Much like their previous three opponents, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) used a quick start and its depth to overpower an undermanned Howard team, 97-58 in a non-conference men's game at the UIC Pavilion.
The Bison (3-9), who played with only eight players in uniform, followed the script of recent games, keeping it close over the first 8 minutes, only to see big runs that turned into an insurmountable halftime deficit.
Howard (3-9) trailed only 16-10 at one point before the Flames (8-4) went on a 38-12 run that gave them a 57-26 lead at halftime. Karl White (14) and Josh Mayo (11) combined for 25 of the points on 9 of 11 shooting, including 5 of 6 from three-point range.
The hot shooting of White and Mayo played a role but the turnover problem again reared its ugly head as UIC turned 20 Bison turnovers into 18 first half points.
"We have a lot of young guys who are playing in unfamiliar territory," said Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "Because of the injuries, they are forced to play a lot more minutes than they are accustomed to. We are trying to get them to understand the speed of the game is different from high school. They are rushing a lot. We just have to keep working until we get our key players back."
The Bison have been hit hard by injuries all season as they started their 10th different lineup in 11 games against the Flames. Starters Jeron Smith (knee), Eugene Myatt (knee) and Randy Hampton (concussion) combine for 35 points and it shows as Howard has failed to score more than 60 points in their last four games.
Despite the lopsided score, Coach Jackson was encouraged by the play of freshman Kyle Riley and sophomores Kandi Mukole and Paul Kirkpatrick. Riley has played well the past three games. He finished with 12 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Mukole, who has struggled of late, came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting and 6 rebounds.
Kirkpatrick tallied 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. He also appears to be coming around after coming back from an early injury that forced him to miss the first two games.
The Bison got a strong performance also from junior walk-on Theo Livingston, who scored 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting, dealt out a team high 5 assists and recorded 3 steals.
"The thing that I look for in situations like this is whether the team is giving up," said Jackson. "We did not quit despite all that was happening. This will help because these freshmen and sophomores and getting experience against good teams like UIC that is going to help when we get everyone back and get into conference play."
UIC was paced by White, who led all scorers with 20, Mayo with 18, Robert Kreps with 13 off the bench and Jermaine Dailey and Robert Bush, who each tallied 10.
NEXT UP: Howard gets a few days off before traveling to Moraga, Calif where they will play St. Mary's College on December 28 in the first round of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic while UIC will travel to Ohio to take on the Zips of Akron on December 29.