WASHINGTON, D.C. - Curtis White scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and Dadrian Collins added 10 of his 15 after intermission to lead Howard to a 72-65 win over Navy in a non-conference men's basketball game at Burr Gymnasium.
The Bison (2-13), who snapped a five game losing streak, rallied from a 36-30 halftime deficit on the scoring of White and Collins who combined for 12 of the team's points during a key 15-9 run that tied the score at 45-all.
Buoyed by the run, Howard embarked on an 11-4 run to open up a 56-49 lead at the 10:48 mark of the second half. This time it was Mike Phillips and Calvin Thompson who keyed the run as they combined for 8 of the points.
But the scrappy Mids (6-9) put together a rally of their own, a 16-6 spurt that helped them regain the lead at 65-63 with 3:08 remaining.
Howard combined some tough defense and some key points from White, Paul Kirkpatrick and Calvin Thompson to hold Navy scoreless the rest of the way and finished the game with a 9-0 run.
First Kirkpatrick, who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, sank a 10 footer with the shot clock winding down to tie the game at 65-65 with 59 seconds remaining. Then White nailed a long three pointer on an assist from Kirkpatrick that made it, 68-65 Howard with 22 seconds left.
Navy missed at the other end and Thompson was fouled after grabbing one of his career-high 11 rebounds. He missed both free throws but he managed to get his own miss and score on a layup with 11 seconds on the clock. Thompson stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled. This time, he made good on both free throws to close out the scoring.
"This was a big win for us,"said Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "We got the kind of balance that we have been looking for. Our seniors, Curtis and Paul made plays when we needed them. And then the young freshman, Dadrian (Collins) and Mike (Phillips) made important contributions. And down the stretch, Calvin made some tough plays that we had to have."
Collins, who was coming off a career-high 17 points in the loss to George Washington on Saturday, finished with 15 while Phillips and Kirkpatrick, contributed 13 and 10, respectively.
"I think that our schedule really helped us in this game," observed Jackson. "We have played a lot of games on the road and have played against some tough competition. It is important that we got this win because we have a big conference game coming up on Saturday with Morgan State."
The Mids were led by Chris Harris, who tallied a team-high 18 and Sugars Jordan and O.J. Avworo, who scored 17 and 11, respectively.
GAME NOTES: The Bison played without the services of forward Adam Walker (illness), Tyreak Johnson (knee injury) and Kyle Riley (back problems)...Howard out-rebounded the Mids, 40-29 and held a 17-6 advantage on second chance opportunities...senior center Nate Cooper came off the bench and grabbed 4 rebounds in six minutes and Kandi Mukole contributed 3 points and 4 rebounds on 12 minutes of play...Howard went to the free throw line 32 times and shot a respectable 72 percent.
NEXT UP: Howard hosts Morgan State at 4 pm on Saturday in Burr Gymnasium.