Free Throw Shooting Proves to Be the Difference in NC A&T Win Over Howard
Adrian Powell scored all 12 of his points in the second half to lead four players in double figures,
but it was free throw shooting that ultimately proved to be the difference as North Carolina A&T pulled out a 70-65 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium. It was the sixth straight loss for Howard (4-15 overall, 1-5 in the MEAC).
After the Bison went on a 17-9 run to erase a halftime deficit and take a 43-39 lead at the 12:54
mark, the Aggies (7-12 overall, 2-2 in the MEAC) responded with a spurt of their own. Powell scored on three straight three pointers-- two on treys and one the conventional way-- to take the lead for good at 52-45 with 8:55 remaining.
From there, Howard attempted to fight its way back into the game, but the Aggies were able to
hold them at bay with some deft free throw shooting. NC A&T converted on 14 of 19 in the second half while the Bison missed some key front end of some one- and- ones that came back to haunt them.
"Free throw shooting was huge this game," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "On paper,
we missed 11 so we probably missed 15 to 16 points. This has been a problem since the Hampton game. We have to get back in the gym and work on our timing." Before the Hampton game, the Bison were shooting a more than respectable 72 percent as a team.
Howard trailed most of the game until it was able to get back into it by combining the second
half scoring of senior guard Glenn Andrews, who tallied 12 of his 16 in the second half including 11 straight points that gave his team the brief lead.
Calvin Thompson teamed with Andrews to take on the scoring load. The junior point guard led
all scorers with 17, seven coming down the stretch when the Bison were desperate for points.
But the Aggies made sure that there would be no comeback as they knocked down 13 of their
last 15 attempts to secure the win.
Nic Simpson came off the bench to lead his team 13 points, including a perfect 6 for 6 from the
charity stripe while Lawrence Smith March Hill and Powell each contributed 12 points.
Andrews hit all 8 of his free throws but the rest of the team made only 11 of 22. Thompson
grabbed 6 rebounds and handed out 5 assists while freshman Oliver Ellison grabbed a career-high 9 rebounds.
"We put the young guys in and picked up the pressure," said Nickelberry of the team's one rally.
"Then fatigue started to take over and we missed free throws. It was a close game; we just have to make free throws."