Howard Men Come Up Short in Loss To Gardner Webb
Cancun, Mexico---November 20, 2012---Alphonso Leary had his best effort of the season, scoring a team and season-high 15 points, but it was not enough as Howard University fell, 55-43 to Gardner Webb University in the Triple Crown Cancun Challenge at the Moon Place Resort.
The Bison (0-4) stayed close throughout most of the game, trailing by 22-15 at the half. Howard was within striking distance of the Runnin Bulldogs (3-3), narrowing the deficit to three at one point, but in the end, the play of Donta Harper and Kevin Hartley, along with untimely turnovers, proved to be too much to overcome for the undermanned Bison, who suited up only seven players.
"I told the team that under the circumstances, I was proouf of their effort," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "Gardner Webb is a very talented team and our guys battled, but with only seven scholarship players in uniform, it is a challenge. I told them that if they continue to fight and play hard, the wins will come."
Harper led all scorers with 16 points to go along with 9 rebounds and six assists while Hartley contributed 12 points.
With only sophomore Simuel Frazier as the only healthy point guard on the roster, the Bison were again victimized by turnovers as Gardner Webb converted the Howard miscues into 20 of their points. The slightly deeper Runnin Bulldogs held an important edge in the paint, where they got 38 of their points.
Leary, a junior center, has struggled early but his strong play in the second half aided the Bison cause. Leary finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots while Frazier chipped in with 7 points and a career-high 7 steals. Senior forward Mike Phillips, the team's leading scorer at 15 points per game, added 6 points and 5 rebounds.
The Bison will take on Western Carolina in the consolation game on Wednesday at 1:30 pm