December 21, 2012
Road Weary Bison Fall To Rutgers
New Brunswick, NJ---Playing their second game in less than 48 hours in two different time zones, the Howard University men's basketball scrapped and battled but in the end, fatigue and Rutgers depth proved to be too much as Howard fell, 79-55 in a non-conference game at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
Howard (3-10) played Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon on Wednesday night and then traveled across country to New Jersey for this game. It did not seem to be a factor early as the Bison stayed close to the Scarlet Knights and actually held a brief, early lead.
With leading scorers Mike Phillips and Calvin Thompson
held in check by Rutgers (8-2) defense, the Bison got some surprise scoring from sophomore guard Simuel Frazier
and senior reserve guard Anton Dickerson
, who picked up the slack and combined for 14 of the Bison's first half points. Rutger led 37-28.
The Scarlet Knights used its bench rotation of 10 players and it paid dividends as eight players took turns scoring, with sophomore guards Mack Myles (8) and Eli Carter (7) combining for 15 points with some hot outside shooting. The Bison had one of their better shooting halves on the season, connecting on 55 percent (11 of 20) but the Scarlet Knight did even better, shooting a 57 percent clip, including 80 percent (4 of 5) from beyond the arc.
"Right now, we need the perfect storm to give us a chance and it just didn't happen tonight with the foul trouble and the fatigue that affected our play in the second half," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry.
But it was a different story in the second half as fatigue set it and the Bison began to miss shots and turn the ball over giving the hosts some easy baskets.
Rutgers capitalized with an 18-4 run over the first 10 minutes of the second half to all but put the game away. The attack was led by Carter, who tallied 13 of his game-high 20 after intermission.
"We did a good job following the game plan in the first half, so we were able to hang around," said Nickelberry. "The second half was another story. We let their shooters get going and took a step back with the turnover problem."
The Bison did manage a mini run and cut the deficit to 15 with enough time for a comeback, but the Scarlet Knights reeled off a 8-2 run to officially seal the victory.
Dickerson, who was coming off an effort against Oregon State where he scored 8 points in just five minutes, led the Bison with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting, 4 of 7 from the three-point range.
Phillips chipped with 10 points, marking the seventh straight game that the senior forward has reached double figures in scoring.
Myles tallied 15 points for Rutgers while Wally Judge added 12.
The Bison will have a few days to rest before returning to action on December 28 against the University of Central Florida in the first round of the UCF Holiday Classic.
GAME NOTES: Rutgers played the game with Associate head coach David Cox at the helm…Cox was filling for head coach Mike Rice, who has been suspended by the University for three games…it was Cox's first game as head coach on the collegiate level…Rutgers held a 36-22 advantage in the paint and scored 28 points off 18 Howard turnovers…the Bison ended up in a deadlock on rebounding with the Scarlet Knights at 25 each.