Phillips, Thompson Combine to Lead Howard To First Win
Washington, DC--Mike Phillips scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and Calvin Thompson came off the bench to tally 10 of his 16 after intermission to help Howard University pull away to a 66-50 win over Wilmington University (Del) in a non-conference men's basketball game at Burr Gymnasium. The victory was the first of the season for Bison (1-5) while the Wildcats remained winless (0-6).
Wilmington University took control early, maintaining the tempo and out hustling Howard. The result paid off for the visitors as they opened the biggest lead of the game at 23-13 at the 7:58 mark of the first half. Reserves Brandon Fox and Shaq Monroe Gaskins teamed with James Pee to account for 24 of their team's 31 first half points.
Enter Thompson, the 6-3 red-shirt senior guard who has missed the past three games with a shoulder injury. He made his presence felt when the Bison went on an 8-3 run over the last 1:21 to pull Howard to within 31-27 at the half.
Using that momentum, the Bison went on a 12-4 second half run led by Thompson, Leary and Phillips to take control at 47-36 with a little over 12 minutes remaining. From there, the Bison began to impose their will on the Wildcats as they controlled the glass with a 28-13 advantage while also forcing them to miss 25 of their 32 shots in the second half.
The Bison, who have only seven scholarships in uniform, finally got some balanced scoring with Phillips, who hit on 8 of 10 shots from the floor and grabbed 12 rebounds for a double double.
Thompson finished with 16 and 6 rebounds, Leary with 12 points and 8 rebounds and Prince Okoroh with 10 points and 8 rebounds.
The Wildcats were led by Pee, who finished with 17 points and Monroe Gaskins who added 11 off the bench.
The Bison travel to Pittsburgh, Pa, where they will play the Panthers of Pittsburgh on Tuesday at 7 pm.