Myatt, Riley and Hampton Lead Howard To Win
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eugene Myatt scored 14 of his game-high 26 points in the second half and Kyle Riley and Randy Hampton each added nine after intermission as Howard University defeated Norfolk State, 68-62 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium.
The Bison (5-16 overall, 3-5 in the MEAC) had to rebound from a 35-29 halftime deficit after they allowed the Spartans (7-12 overall, 5-3 in the MEAC) to run off a 6-0 spurt to end the half.
Whatever Howard head coach Gil Jackson said at halftime apparently got the team's attention as they opened with a 16-2 run to take a 45-37 lead that they never relinquished. Myatt, Hampton and Riley combined to score all 16 of the points, Myatt with pull up jumpers, Riley with long-range bombs and Hampton with power moves to the basket.
"Eugene played his best game tonight," said Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "He played focused and he got people involved."
He continued, "We really needed Kyle tonight. He got into a bit of foul trouble in the first half but he came out in the second half and got some good looks."
Riley nailed three, three pointers in the second half and each came when the Bison were either building on a lead or stopping a Norfolk State run. He tallied 11 for the game.
"I had to gather myself in the locker room and try to pick it up in the second half," said Riley, who added four rebounds and three assists. "I knew that the team needed me to make a bigger contribution if we had a chance to win."
Hampton made all three of his field goal attempts in the second half and finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
"Randy did a nice job for us, especially considering that he was playing sick tonight," said Coach Jackson.
From there, the Bison controlled the tempo and maintained an 8-10 point bulge. The Spartans were unable to cut into the deficit because the Bison parlayed a strong defensive effort, primarily from 6-9 junior center Paul Kirkpatrick and the scoring of the Bison trio.
Kirkpatrick, who is emerging as one of the premier post players in the conference, finished with nine points and eight rebounds but it was presence inside that forced the Spartans to misfire and shoot only 29 percent from the field in the second half.
"I have to give credit to my assistant coaches (James Wilhelmi and Matt Collier) for the second half defense," said Jackson. "We came out very aggressive. We just tried to keep them in front of us and made them shoot over us."
Michael Deloach led all Norfolk State players with 18 points while Brandon Monroe recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
GAME NOTES: White had his best floor game of his career, recording EIGHT assists while committing only three turnovers...The Bison won despite losing the battle in-the-paint, 40-24 and fast break points, 14-2...Howard shot 52 percent from the field in the second half...It was the Bison's first victory over Norfolk State in Jackson's tenure...The Spartans came into the game in second place in the MEAC.
NEXT UP: The Spartans host Bethune-Cookman next Saturday at 6 pm while the Bison will try to make it three in a row when they host Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday at 4 pm.