American Univerity Outlasts Howard In Foul Shooting Contest
Washington, DC—November 29—Riley Grafft came off the bench to score a game-high 21 and lead four players in double figures as American University pulled away to a 77-66 win in a foul-plagued game at Bender Arena.
The Eagles (5-2) won their fifth straight by converting 35 of 44 from the charity stripe in a game that featured 84 free throw attempts.
Grafft connected on 7 of his 8 shots from the field and was a prefect 6 of 6 from the free throw line. Teammates Charles Hinkle (14) cashed in on 11 of his 12 attempts and Troy Brewer got into the act, knocking down 9 of 10 for American, which connected on 80 percent.
The Bison (2-4) had their share of attempts, but they missed 12
of their 40 chances as neither team shot the ball especially well.
American shot 39 percent (18 of 46) while Howard shot 31
(17 of 54).
American came out strong and appeared ready to put the game away early when it bolted out to a 12-1 lead during the first six minutes. Grafft , Hinkle and Brewer, all seniors, set the tone, combining for 24 of their team’s 32 first half points.
The young Howard team, which has only one senior and at times
had four freshmen on the
floor, scrapped and clawed its way back into the game after trailing by double digits on three different occasions. Sophomore center Alphonso Leary proved to be a force along with Dadrian Collins, who came off the bench to help the Bison narrow the deficit to 32-28 at intermission.
The Eagles regained their composure coming out of the locker room and reeled off a 7-2 run to up the margin to 39-30 three minutes into the second half.
From there, the two teams battled and took turns parading to the
foul line. Howard made
several attempts to cut into the deficit, but the Eagles, who made 24 of 30 from the charity stripe in the final 20 minutes, were able to keep the feisty Bison at bay and hold on for the win.
Freshman guard Simuel Frazier, who continues to improve each
game, came off the bench to
lead the Bison with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 26 minutes of play. Collins chipped in with 8 points while Leary contributed 9 points and 6 rebounds. Eleven of the 12 players who played for Howard scored.
NEXT UP: Howard travel to New York to open MEAC play against Hampton University on Sunday at 6 pm in the Big Apple Classic at Madison Square Garden at 6 pm.