Howard Falls To Delaware State In Conference Opener
Norfolk, VA—Albert Thomas scored a team-high 21 points to lead four players in double figures as Delaware State defeated Howard University, 73-61 in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Women's and Men's Tournament at the Scope. The Hornets (14-17), the Number 6 seed, advance to the quarterfinal round against Hampton, The Number 3 seed on Thursday at 6 pm.
Delaware State got off to a quick start, scoring the game's first nine points and continued to build its lead en route to a 32-20 halftime lead. Thomas and Casey Walker each scored 10 points as the Hornets shot 50 percent from the field and scored 13 points off 11 Bison turnovers.
Howard (7-24), the Number 11 seed, was hurt by foul trouble and a lack of depth, something that has plagued the team all season. As a result, the Bison went through scoring droughts and an inability to match the Hornets' depth advantage.
In the second, Delaware State built on its lead as Thomas, Tahj Tate, Marques Oliver and reserve Tyshawn Bell all contributed to the balanced attack.
But the scrappy Bison refused to fold and mounted a strong comeback, led by senior Calvin Thompson, who scored all of his game-high 22 points in the second half, Mike Phillips and Anton Dickerson. Howard twice cut the deficit to seven in the second half but each time, Delaware State would get a rally-stopping basket to push the margin back to double digits.
"It seemed like every time we would get close, we could not get over the hump," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "We were always a key rebound or a missed shot away."
In addition to Thomas, the Hornets got 14 points from Tate, 13 from Oliver and 12 from Walker.
Thompson's 22 were a season high for him while Phillips finished with 18 and Dickerson with 11 and a career-high nine rebounds.
"I really feel bad for our seniors," said Nickelberry. "They played their hearts out. I wish them the best in what endeavors that they choose."