Cancun, Mexico---November 21--Simuel Frazier scored 16 of a career-high 23 points in the second half and Prince Okoroh added a season-best 17 points, but it was not enough as Howard dropped a heartbreaking, 69-67 decision to Western Carolina (2-4) for third place in the Maya Division of the Triple Crown Cancun Challenge.
The Bison (0-5) trailed 60-51 with just 4:14 remaining in regulation. Then Frazier, Okoroh and Tre Lee combined to help propel Howard on a 16-7 run that tied the score at 67 with nine seconds remaining. The run was capped off with a Frazier layup.
But the Catamounts regrouped and canned two free throws from Tom Tankelewicz with just one second remaining to give the Catamounts the victory.
The Bison, with only seven scholarship players in uniform, played their best game of the season, leading by as much as five in the first before settling for a 30-27 deficit at the half.
The two teams battled back and forth through most of the second half until the Catamounts were able to go up by 10.
The Bison were able to whittle down the lead and the late spurt got them within victory.
Frazier, a sophomore, who is the only point guard in uniform, finished with 23 on 9 of 14 shooting during 37 minutes of play. Okoroh, also a sophomore, added 3 steals and two blocks to his 17 points on 7 of 14 from the field and Lee, a senior guard who usually comes off the bench, tallied a career-high 14 points while also grabbing 6 rebounds. After Frazier's impressive performance, he was named to the All-Tournmanent team for the Mayan Division.
Senior forward Mike Phillips, who is the team's leading scorer, finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds. He played the entire 40 minutes.
Western Carolina got balanced scoring from Tawaski King with 19, Trey Sumler and Tankelewicz each with 17 and Brandon Boggs with 11.
The game was evenly play as indicated by the score but a telling factor was the turnover factor, where the Catamounts got 26 of their points off Bison turnovers.
NEXT UP: The Bison will be looking for their first win of the season when they host Wilmington College of Delaware on Sunday at 2 pm in Burr Gymnasium.