Washington, DC—December 6---Prince Okoroh poured in 18 of
his career-high 21 points in the
second half to lead four players in double figures as Howard University (3-5 overall, 1-1 in the
MEAC) pulled away to a 72-65 win over Delaware State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
men’s game at Burr Gymnasium.
A 6-5 freshman from Glenarden, MD, Okoroh connected on 9 of his
11 shots from the
field to set the tone for the Bison, who led 30-24 at the half. The talented Okoroh scored on a
variety of ways, from hard drives to the basket in transition, to short pull up jumpers. “Prince stepped up and made big plays,” said Howard second year head coach Kevin
Nickelberry. “He played with a lot of emotion and heart.”
Junior Mike Phillips got into the act by tallying 12 of his 14
points in the second stanza.
Junior Dadrian Collins, who has been in a scoring slump through most of the early season, came
alive and jump started Howard with 12 first half points.
Sophomore center Alphonso Leary proved to be very effective in
the post, scoring a
season-high 15 points in the balanced Bison attack. Their play was crucial as the Bison were shorthanded. Leading scorer, junior Calvin Thompson and freshman Brandon Ford, sat out with injuries. “We had some key players who were injured so I had to rise to the occasion,” said
Okoroh, who also had 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots on his resume. “I have been
getting in foul trouble but I knew that I could not afford to tonight. I knew it was time for me to
stop playing like a freshman and make an important contribution.”
An important element in the team shooting a season-high 54 percent can be attributed
to the play of freshman point guard Simuel Frazier, who was starting in place of Thompson.
Although Frazier (team second leading scorer) failed to score, he dished out a career-best 7
assists and controlled the offensive flow of the game.
“Sim showed up big,” said Coach Nickelberry.
‘He was in pain out there. He did not
have his usual quickness because of his hamstring but he did a great job of getting us into what
we wanted to do offensively.”
Added Collins, who hit on 7 of 10 from the field including a
perfect 4 for 4 from three-
point area, “Sim did a good job of getting me the ball where I felt comfortable. After a while, I
began to feel more and more comfortable.”
The Hornets (4-4 overall, 1-1 in the MEAC), who made a late rush
after trailing by as
many as 22, were led by Kendall Gray and Casey Walker, who each scored 17 and Jay Threatt
who contributed 15 points and 6 assists.
GAME NOTES: Phillips recorded a double-double of 14 points, 10
bench outscored the Hornets, 19-3.
NEXT UP: The Bison take on the Hoyas of Georgetown on Saturday
at 12 noon at the Verizon