Hampton Uses Its Bench and Outside Shooting to Down Howard
Washington, DC—March 3--Anton Dickerson scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome the hot shooting of Christopher Tolson, who came off the bench to score 20 points and lead Hampton University to an 83-72 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Burr Gymnasium. It was the regular season finale for both teams.
The Bison (6-23 overall, 4-12 in the MEAC) came out strong in the second half and overcame a 14-point deficit with 14-2 run over the first four minutes and draw to within two at 38-36 at 16-minute mark. Dickerson scored 8 of the points during the run while Mike Phillips added four.
"We fought back and played better early in the second half," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "The problem is when you have five guys play over 30 minutes, it becomes a difficult task. Fatigue set in and we ran out of gas."
But the Pirates (21-8 overall, 11-5 in the MEAC) regrouped following a timeout and went to the long ball. Tolson, Kwame Morgan and Darrion Pellum combined for seven three pointers in the second half as Hampton shot 53 percent (8 of 15) from beyond the arc.
"I coached Tolson at Hampton, so I know what he is capable of," said Nickelberry, who served as head coach at Hampton for three years before coming to Howard and who recruited many of the players who now make up the Pirates' team. They have relentless scorers. When those three players (Tolson, Morgan and Pellum) make shots from the perimeter, they make are very difficult to defend. I think that out players were surprised at from how deep they were shooting."
The hot shooting resulted in a 25-8 over an eight minute span that opened a 16-point lead.
The undermanned Bison would not go away and scrapped their way back into the game on the scoring of Kyle Riley, Phillips and Dickerson, reducing the deficit to five points with still enough time on the clock. The Pirates were able to put the game away at the foul line.
"It was really tough losing like this after we fought so hard in the second half," said Riley, the team's only senior. "We got it down to two but they responded with a run and it was tough after that. I was really proud of the team tonight and the way they fought back."
Dickerson led the Bison with 21, Phillips with 17 and a career-high 15 rebounds and Riley contributed 16 and six assists. Alphonso Leary added 8 points and 11 rebounds for the Bison who outrebounded Hampton, 48-35
Pellum led Hampton with 21, Tolson with 20 and Morgan with 17.
The Pirates bench outscored their Howard counterparts, 32-5.