Elliott’s Tip In Helps Bethune-Cookman Nip Howard
Washington, DC—Stanley Elliott scored on a tip-in after a missed shot with 1.0 seconds left to help Bethune-Cookman escape with a 66-64 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium.
After the Bison (6-21 overall, 4-10 in the MEAC) tied the game at 64 on a pair of free throws by Mike Phillips with 10 seconds remaining, the Wildcats (17-11 overall, 11-3 in the MEAC) pushed the ball up the floor and got a long three point attempt by Kevin Dukes that came off the right side of the rim and into the hands of Elliott, who used his left hand to tip the ball in the basket.
Howard called its final timeout and attempted a long inbounds pass, but it was intercepted by Bethune-Cookman as the buzzer went off.
"We fought hard for 40 minutes," said Howard first year head coach Kevin Nickelberry. "They made just one more play than we did down the stretch. We just have to put this behind us and continue to fight in the last two games of the regular season."
The loss snapped a four-game home conference win streak by the Bison while the first place Wildcats won their fourth straight and remained undefeated (8-0) in conference play on the road this season.
"It was a hard-fought game," said a spent BCU Coach Cliff Reed. "We have been in these kind of games all season and somehow we find ways to survive. Give Howard credit. They played hard. We just happen to make one more play than they did."
Howard got a strong first half effort from freshman center Alphonso Leary, who tallied 11 of his career-high 21 points in the first stanza. BCU countered with 10 points from their junior guard CJ Reed, who scored five of his 10 half points in the last minute, including a three pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 36-32 lead at intermission.
"Alphonso is playing real well," said Nickelberry of his freshman center from Norfolk , VA, who was named the MEAC Rookie of the Week earlier in the day. "He has begun to become more consistent. He has a really bright future." Leary connected on 7 of 10 from the floor and added a game-high 7 rebounds.
The two teams went back and forth in the second half as Phillips came alive to score 10 of his 17 points while Reed, Albert Abrams and Elliott countered to keep the visitors in the game.
"Mike (Phillips) was able to give us a boost in the second half," said Nickelberry. "He took advantage of some mismatches and got to the foul line. He made some big plays when we needed them."
Leary finished with 21 points, Phillips with 17 and Kyle Riley with 11.
"It was a tough loss," said Riley, who added 4 assists and 3 steals. "We felt that we could compete with the Number 1 team in the conference and we did. It all came down to one play."
In addition to Reed's game-high 23, Abrams and Elliot each scored 10.
GAME NOTES: Howard had one of its better shooting nights, converting on 51 percent (22 of 43) from the field…the Bison held a 32-20 advantage on points in the paint, but they lost the battle of the bench, 15-8…Antoine Dickerson, who came into the game averaging 11 points per game, failed to score.
NEXT UP: Bethune Cookman hosts South Carolina State on Saturday at 4 pm at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL while the Bison travel to Princess Anne, MD to take the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday at 4 pm.