The Howard Bison men’s basketball team followed up a recent four-game win streak with two consecutive losses that carried a little more sting than any other typical losses.
Howard was blown out badly, 91-67, by its beltway rivals, the Morgan State University Bears on Feb. 5, then lost the latest “Battle of the Real HU” to Hampton University, 95-81, on Feb. 8.
What made the latter loss tougher is knowing that was the last “Battle of the Real HU” between Howard and Hampton as inter-conference foes, as Hampton will be leaving the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) to join the Big South Conference next season.
“We knew coming into the game it was a rivalry game,” said Howard head coach Kevin Nickelberry, according to HU Sports Information. “We knew it was going to be energy in the building and a packed house. It’s the last time we play them in the league, unless we play them in the tournament, so we knew it was going to be physical.”
Howard’s Charles Williams and R.J. Cole scored 50 points combined but the team got into early foul trouble against Hampton and couldn’t sustain. Howard had the same foul troubles against Morgan State. Cole had 30 points against MSU, but Williams was limited to fewer minutes after picking up early fouls.
“Williams struggled early with fouls,” Nickelberry said. “This was the first time we had to go deep into our bench all year.”
Howard (7-19 overall, 4-6 MEAC) will take on University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Feb. 12., then will take on North Carolina A&T on Feb. 17.