Brown, Neal and Daniels Help Howard Edge Morgan State
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Zykia Brown scored 14 of her team-high 19 points in the second half and Neal Morgan and Tamaya Daniels each added 12 as Howard University edged Morgan State University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's game at Burr Gymnasium. The win was the second straight for the Lady Bison (6-19 overall, 5-7 in the MEAC) while the Lady Bears (16-10 overall, 8-5 in the MEAC) had their three-game win streak snapped.
The game was a nip-and-tuck affair from the beginning as there were nine ties and 10 lead changes. The two teams were deadlocked at 30-all at the half. Corin Adams provided much of the offense for Morgan State with 11 of her game-high 20 points while Neal (nine points) and Daniels (seven) combined for 16 of Howard's points.
The second half featured much of the same until Brown helped lead a 13-6 mini run that gave the Lady Bison their biggest lead at 43-36 eight minutes into the second half.
"We place a big emphasis on defense," explained Howard first year head coach Niki Reid Geckeler. "That was one of the keys during the second half. We know that eventually we would come around offensively."
Morgan State was able to rally but Howard was able to exploit the Morgan State man-to-man defense with some sparkling halfcourt offense that featured Brown and Neal on the outside and Daniels in the paint. Brown nailed some big three pointers, including two from long range just before the shot clock expired.
"Ziggy (Zykia) is starting to understand that she can take over," said Coach Geckeler. "Big-time players make big-time plays."
Neal was effective with her medium range game while Daniels, who finished with a double double, was able to work the high-low offense.
"As a senior, she (Neal), she has really picked up her game for us of late," said Geckeler. "She was able to make some key plays for us down the stretch and that was big." Neal knocked down three free throws in the last 1:20.
Daniels and Charae Baulkman were able to give Howard an effective low post game against the undersized Lady Bears. Daniels grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
"Today, it was a huge spark for us to have Tamaya and Charae play they way they did," said Coach Geckeler. "They worked the high-low to perfection."
Morgan State had to rely almost exclusively on the play of their backcourt of Adams (20 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Erin Hawkins (13 points, eight assists), who combined for 33 points and 12 assists between them. No other Morgan State player reached double figures.
Howard is currently in eighth place in the MEAC standings with four games remaining before the tournament gets underway on March 10. Two of the games are at home.
"We need to keep our intensity down the stretch," said Brown, a strong candidate for all-conference honors. "I just need to continue to play my game and maintain our energy on defense."
NEXT UP: Morgan State travels to Hampton, Va. to take on the Lady Pirates of Hampton University on Monday while the Lady Bison will try to make it three in a row when they host Coppin State on Monday at 6 pm in Burr.