Florida A&M Uses Its Bench To Get Past Howard
- Lamar Twitty came off the bench to score a team-high 20
points and reserve Dale Hughes added 16 as Florida A&M
University defeated Howard University, 71-58 in the first round of
the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's tournament at the
Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum. The Rattlers (10-20), the
Number 8 seed, advance to the next round against the Number 1 seed,
Morgan State on Wednesday at 7 pm while the Bison finish their
season at 8-22.
Florida A&M set the tone early with some sizzling three-point shooting, nailing 8-of-12 en route to a 41-34 halftime lead. Hughes and Twitty combined for a perfect 7 for 7 from beyond the arc. The Bison were hampered by the lack of offensive production from leading scorer, senior guard Eugene Myatt, who came into the game averaging over 16 points per game but was able to muster only two free throws in the first 20 minutes. Sophomore guard Kyle Riley picked up the scoring slack with 14 points.
"I thought we did a good job defensively taking away some of the things that they like to do," explained FAMU head coach Eugene Harris. "We rebounded well and were able to get some good looks."
The Rattlers continued their hot shooting from long range in the second half as their first two field goals were three pointers by Brandon Bryant who got into the act. That success enabled Florida A&M to open a 50-36 lead six minutes into the second stanza.
It was then that the Bison found some su ccess and rallied on the strength of a 15-4 run that got them to within two at 53-51 with 11 minutes to play. But Howard committed some costly turnovers and FAMU made them pay with a 14-2 run that ended the Bison's season.
"The early foul trouble distracted Eugene," said Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "He likes to attack and when he got his third foul, it affected how he played." Myatt, a first team All-MEAC selection who came into the game with an 18-game streak of scoring in double figures, finished with only seven in 18 minutes of play.
"The foul trouble was definitely a factor," said Myatt. ‘They did a good job on me. That obviously was a big part of their game plan."
In addition to Twitty and Hughes, the Rattlers got important production from Larry Jackson (15 points, 6 rebounds), Bryant (9 points) and Joe Ballard (8 points, 8 assists).
Riley led the Bison with 20 points while Curtis White chipped in with 16.
On facing the talented Bears of Morgan State, Coach Harris offers the following. "We are a young team and we have had problems on the road but the schedule we played this season has prepared us for this tournament."