December 6, 2012
Howard Falls To William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA---December 6---Calvin Thompson poured in a season-high 24 points and Mike Phillips continued his scoring assault with 20, but it was not enough to offset the balanced scoring of Brandon Britt who led all scorers with 26 points as William and Mary topped Howard University, 78-69 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Kaplan Center.
The Bison (2-8) went toe to toe with the Tribe and played one of their best games of the season. Despite some torrid shooting by William and Mary (63 percent) in the first half, Howard was able to stay within striking distance at 38-30 on the efforts of Phillips who tallied 12 points.
The Tribe (5-3) was able to keep Howard at bay by getting scoring from Britt's (12 points) and Kyle Gaillard (11 points).
Using its bench advantage and the Bison's foul trouble, William & Mary threatened to put the game away with a mini spurt that opened a 61-50 lead at the 8:22 mark. That is when Phillips and Thompson went to work, combining for 14 of their team's 18 points and cutting the deficit to 73-67 with 1:31 on the clock.
But the uphill climb proved to be too much as the Bison missed some easy shots that the Tribe converted into baskets and free throws.
"Our lack of depth has been an issue all season," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "There was a stretch where it was a five to seven-point lead by them and we had chances. But we missed some layups and some open threes and it proved to be pivotal. Moving forward, we have to be able to make those shots if we are going to come out victorious." The Bison starters averaged over 35 minutes.
The game was marked by some unbelievable free throw shooting by both teams. At one point, they combined for 17 for 17 from the charity stripe. And therein was the difference as William and Mary converted on 21 of 24 in the second half while the Bison were just four of five.
"One of the things you cannot scout is free throw shooting," said Nickelberry. "They got to the line and they made their free throws. It was a well played game. Both teams played hard and did a good job of executing, but in the end it came down to free throw shooting attempts. That was the difference in the game."
An area of improvement for the Bison, despite the lack of depth, was in the turnover department. After averaging almost 20 per game in the first 8 games, Howard has turned the ball over only 13 times the past two contests, including three in this game, the lowest in five years.
Britt led all scorers with 26 points for the Tribe, while Tim Rusthoven and Marcus Thornton each had 13 and Galliard chipped in with 11.
Thompson grabbed 6 rebounds to go along with his 24 points. Phillips connected on 9 of 16 from the field, Prince Okoroh
contributed 11 and 8 rebounds and Simuel Frazier
dealt out a season-high 8 assists with no turnovers.