WASHINGTON, D.C. - Howard University squandered a halftime lead and fell behind in the second half, and then staged a furious rally that fell just short as American University edged the Bison, 65-63 in a non-conference game at Burr Gymnasium.
Howard got off to a good start, leading by as much as 10 before settling for a 37-30 lead at the half. Curtis White (10 points) and Eugene Myatt (9) combined for 19 of the points.
Then the Eagles (2-1) showed their NCAA experience as they reeled off a 32-17 run to open up their biggest lead at 62-52 with 4:01 remaining. Most of the damage was done by Garrison Carr, who poured in 16 of his game-high 29 points after the half.
"I think it (NCAA experience) helps because we responded," said AU head coach Jeff Jones. "We dodged one tonight and we were very fortunate to win. We didn't change anything in the second half. The guys just decided to come out and compete."
Howard Coach Gil Jackson offered this from his perspective. "American came out in the second half knowing they were going to win and we came out now knowing if we could or not."
Howard (1-2) fought and scrapped its way back in the game on the scoring of Myatt, Randy Hampton and Chris McHenry, who combined for eight points during an 11-3 spurt that cut the deficit to 65-63 with 19 seconds remaining.
Carr was fouled and went to line to shoot the one-and-one. The sharpshooter, who connected on 11 of 19 from the floor, including 7-of-13 from three-point range missed, and the Bison pushed the ball up the floor. Myatt received a pass from Kando Mukole and launched a three-point attempt that had a chance but American University's Nick Hendra gathered in the rebound as the buzzer went off.
Howard played with only nine players in uniform, but Coach refused to use fatigue or lack of depth as a factor in the loss.
"No, it didn't make a difference," said Jackson. "I feel that we can win games with what we have."
Myatt led Howard with 19 points and White contributed 15 off the bench. Carr was the only AU player to score in double figures.
GAME NOTES: The Bison, who had their woes at the free throw the first two games, had their best effort of the season, converting on 79 percent (15 of 19)...Walker and Mukole combined for 10 rebounds, but scored only three points between them...Howard had its best shooting performance of the young season, connecting on 50 percent.
NEXT UP: American travels to Jacksonville, FL to take on Jacksonville Saturday at 7 pm while the Bison will try to even their record at 2-2 when they travel to New York to take on St. John's on Saturday at 2 pm.