White, Prince Combine to Lead Howard To Third Straight Win
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eugene Myatt scored a game-high 22 points, but it Curtis White and C.J. Prince who proved to be the difference in the second half as Howard University defeated Maryland Eastern Shore, 72-65 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium. The win was the third straight for the Bison (6-16 overall, 4-5 in the MEAC) while the Hawks (6-16 overall, 2-7 in the MEAC) dropped their fifth in a row.
Howard set the tone early, jumping out to the early lead and cruising to a 35-26 halftime advantage. Myatt led the way for the Bison with 16 points while Kyle Riley tallied nine.
UMES, which has improved dramatically under first year head coach Frankie Allen, muscled its way to a 27-15 advantage on the boards, including 15 off the offensive glass, but 12 misses from the charity stripe and 12 turnovers proved to be a problem.
The Hawks began to climb their way back in the game in the second half on the inside play of Neal Pitt, who bulled his way to 10 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, and reserve Keishawn Mayes, who found the distance outside with 10 of his 12 points.
UMES got to within one on four different occasions, but each time White, Prince and Myatt had an answer.
"We were matching basket for basket at one point," recalled Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "We were able to get some stops when we needed them and Curtis, CJ and Gene were able to hit some key shots."
White and Prince combined to hit on five of seven from the three-point line while Myatt did his damage on drives and trips to the foul line where was perfect ( 11 for 11) on the night.
"I just try to play to my full potential,' said Myatt, who is averaging over 20 points in the past three games. "I try to pick my spots, play defense and get my teammates involved. My offense will come."
Equally important in the win was the return of sophomore forward Adam Walker, who missed the past five games with an academic issue. With starting center Paul Kirkpatrick (17 minutes) and forward Kandi Mukole (19) in foul trouble through most of the game, Walker was much needed.
"Thank God we got Adam back," proclaimed Coach Jackson. "We really needed him. He gave us some big minutes. He got some key rebounds for us and his blocks were huge." Walker finished with five rebounds, four off the offensive glass and three blocks, one of which prevented UMES from taking the lead late in the game.
The win puts the Bison in the thick of the MEAC race, so Monday's game against Delaware State looms large.
"It feels good to move up," said Jackson. "You want to compete and to do that, you have to win to get to the top."
White finished with 11, Riley with 14 and seven rebounds and Price with nine.
Pitt led his team with 18 and 17 rebounds while Mayes and Gary Lee each contributed 12 off the bench.
GAME NOTES: A win over Delaware State would give the Bison a .500 record in the conference for the first time since 2001-02...it was the first trip back to Burr Gymnasium for former Howard head coach Frankie Allen...the Hawks held a 31-17 advantage from the bench, but the Bison took advantage of UMES miscues by scoring 20 points off turnovers.
NEXT UP: The Hawks will try to end their skid when they travel to Hampton, VA on Monday to take on the Pirates of Hampton University at 7:30 pm while the Bison will try to close out a four-game home stand with an 8 pm match-up against the Hornets of Delaware State.