Ailing Bison blow a couple of chances to tie at end
Howard entered the season with two experienced guards capable of handling the point. Against Morgan State on Monday night, however, both Calvin Thompson (ankle) and Simuel Frazier (hamstring) were on the end of the bench in sweats.
It was an opportunity for senior Anton Dickerson. But hitting five 3-pointers and scoring 17 points, his most since his sophomore year, wasn't enough. With Morgan State guards Blake Bozeman and Justin Black drilling consecutive 3-pointers with less than four minutes left, the Bears escaped Burr Gymnasium with a 53-51 victory, ending the two-game winning streak of the Bison.
Injury-riddled Howard (6-19, 3-8) got 19 points from senior forward Mike Phillips, including the first 12 of the game for the Bison, and built a 39-32 lead midway through the second half. But Morgan State (8-13, 5-5) stormed back with an 11-point run. Six of the points came from 7-foot-2 senior Ian Chiles (16 points, seven rebounds).
After Howard ended the dry spell, Bozeman (11 points), the son of coach Todd Bozeman, drilled a hurried, pressured 3-point attempt as the shot clock expired. On the next trip down the floor, Black (13 points, eight rebounds) hit his 3-pointer from the deep corner with 2:58 left to give the Bears their biggest lead at 49-44.
A 3-pointer by Dickerson with one minute left gave Howard life, cutting the lead to 49-47. But in the last 13 seconds, Howard wasted two chances to tie. Phillips' 16-footer from the baseline was off the mark. In the final seconds, Phillips couldn't get off a heavily contested shot from the lane after receiving an inbound pass from senior Tre Lee (six points, five rebounds, five assists).
Dickerson has had a peculiar career. As a sophomore, with Thompson out for the season with an injury, Dickerson showed promise, scoring more than 20 points in five games. But since then, he hasn't had more than 17 in a game, and his playing time has decreased.
The script was written for him to make the clutch play Monday night. But that's the kind of year it has been for snake-bitten Howard, which expects to get both of its injured guards back for the MEAC tournament next month.