Bethune-Cookman University opened its final home stand of the season with a 64-50 win over Howard University at Moore Gymnasium on Monday.
“These are our last three home games of the season and we have five games left.
We have to make a push now. We are looking to gain momentum. A lot of teams win their conference tournament by gaining momentum heading into it,” commented B-CU Coach Gravelle Craig.
The Wildcats knocked down nine three pointers and held the advantage in points in the paint (20-12) against the bigger Bisons.
“Howard plays 80 percent zone defense and knocking down the three’s got them away from it,” said Craig.
B-CU had four players score in double figures led by Paul Scotland who had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Scotland had 13 points at halftime.
Scotland was inserted in the starting line because point guard Ricky Johnson being out with injury.
“I was just playing aggressive. I had to pick it up with one of our point guards out tonight,” responded Scotland.
“Paul did a good job. He is experienced, he is a senior and he got going early. Ricky could have played but I held him out,” said Craig.
Howard hurt itself at the free throw line by converting only 16-of-27 attempts.
The team was seven-for-16 in the first half.
A four-point play by Malik Jackson and a basket from Scotland on consecutive possessions gave the Wildcats a 28-15 lead in the first half.
B-CU (10-16, 5-6) held a 33-21 advantage at halftime. The Wildcats again led by 13 at 36-23 lead early in the second half.
Howard (6-21, 3-10) closed the gap at 36-31 after a three by Tre Lee with 15:18 to play.
B-CU pushed its lead to 55-40 after a three from Jackson with 4:33 remaining.
Javoris Bryant added 12 points with seven rebounds and three blocks for the Wildcats.
“I’m just trying to provide senior leadership. We are trying to build some momentum heading into the conference tournament,” answered Bryant.
Mike Phillips had 13 points with nine rebounds and Alphonso Leary nine points with 10 rebounds and a block for the Bison.
Jackson added 12 points and Adrien Coleman had 12 points with six boards and five assists for B-CU.
Ladies lose to Howard Bison
In the women’s game, Bethune-Cookman was no match for Howard in a 61-27 loss.
The Lady Wildcats scored their lowest point total at home in school history and their 34-point defeat margin was the largest in school history at home.
Although, Howard played well defensively, the Wildcats simply just didn’t make shots.
The Bison led 31-6 at halftime after holding the Wildcats to one-for-16 shooting. B-CU also turned the ball over 16 times in the first half.
“We definitely didn’t shoot the ball well tonight, but we also didn’t play with a lot of energy,” responded B-CU Coach Vanessa Blair.
Saadia Doyle became Howard’s all-time leading scorer in the game. She finished with a game high 22 points with seven rebounds.
Too many turnovers
B-CU did shoot better in the second half but Howard still dominated.
The Wildcats went 8 for 28 from the field in the half but still finished 9-for-44.
They also committed 25 turnovers.
“We had too many turnovers too. I thought we kicked that, but it showed its ugly head again,” said Blair.
Howard led by as many as 38 points in the contest. Jasmine Evans had eight points and Shakeyia Colyer 11 rebounds for B-CU. Kara Smith added 15 points for the Howard Bisons.
“We just have to come out and play with energy regardless if we are making shots or not. We also have to take care of the basketball,” added Blair.
Both programs hosts South Carolina State on Feb. 23 and Savannah State on Feb. 26.
Track and field: Team fares well at championships
The Wildcats men finished third and the women fifth at the MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Landover, Md.
The 76 points for the men were the programs best ever and the 56 points by the women was the best since 2007-08.
On the women’s side, Sasha Smallwood (11-5.25 ft) won the high jump repeating as champion from a year ago.
Kadian Dunkley won the mile with a career best mark (5:02.66) and finished second in both the 3,000 km (10:32.45) and 5,000 km (17:58.34) run.
Keron Stoute (4,659 points) paced the men by winning the Heptathlon and earned Co-Outstanding Field Performer of the meet.
La’Quan Howard (49-3.00 ft) was second in the triple jump, Akeem Barthol (14 ft) third in the pole vault and Ricky Brown (4:20.91) third in the mile.
Baseball: B-CU takes one from Arizona
On the diamond, Bethune-Cookman held off No. 16 Arizona State for a 7-6 win in the series finale on Feb. 16.
Anthony Stokes went 2-for-3, Eros Modena had a hit with two RBIs and Chris Biocic had a hit and scored two runs for the Wildcats (1-2).
Scott Garner got the win on the mound and Jordan Dailey the save for the B-CU.
The Sun Devils (2-1) won the first two games of the series 5-4 win in 11 innings and a 15-7.
B-CU played its home opener on Feb. 19 against North Florida and hosted Florida International on Feb. 20. They travel to Macon, Georgia to face Mercer from Feb. 22-24 before returning home to play Stetson (Feb. 26) and UCF (Feb. 27).