Maryland Eastern Shore entered last night's game at Howard having lost 17 straight games, so it appeared to be a perfect opportunity for the struggling Bison to snap their own eight-game losing streak.
Maryland Eastern Shore, however, extended Howard's misery by dominating the Bison in every way on its way to an 88-74 victory in front of 1,205 at Burr Gymnasium.
This is the kind of night it was for the Hawks (2-19, 1-11 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), who hadn't tasted victory since a win over Maryland Baltimore County on Dec. 1 and entered the night ranked 330th out of 330 teams in the RPI: Guard Aly Samabaly had made only 9 of 48 three-pointers coming into the game, but drained his first two last night to help the Hawks take a 14-6 lead.
Also, Maryland Eastern Shore hadn't scored 60 points in a game since Jan. 8, yet reached that mark with nine minutes remaining against the Bison.
Howard, which hasn't won since beating Morgan State on Jan. 8, had no answers for Hawks forward Tim Parham, who scored a game-high 28 points, grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and hit 10 of 15 free throws in 35 minutes.
Parham, a junior from Chicago, scored on dunks, short jump hooks in the lane, turnaround jump shots and a smooth spin move in what he said was his best performance of the season.
"I just came ready to play tonight," Parham said. "It was one of those situations where we really needed a win so I knew I had to be aggressive and do whatever I had to do. At some point, it comes down to pride. It's been a rough season but we have enough talent to be better than we are."
Point guard Corey Brown added 21 points for the Hawks and played an excellent all-around floor game while forward Jareem Dowling added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Howard (5-15, 2-9) was led by guard Will Gant, who scored 25 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists, but the Bison never established an offensive rhythm.
Maryland Eastern Shore shot 56 percent from the field, hit 8 of 18 three-point attempts and easily handled Howard's full-court press. In the first meeting between the teams on Dec. 6, Howard won, 88-68.
In that game, Howard's Louis Ford registered a triple-double. However, Ford, who had led the Bison in minutes played, scoring and assists, was suspended for academic reasons after a loss to Georgetown on Dec. 30 and the Bison haven't been the same since.
Howard Coach Frankie Allen looked like he was trying to solve a puzzle as he used several different combinations of players last night, but nothing seemed to work. The Bison got to 77-67 with 2 minutes 34 seconds remaining on a three-pointer by Reggie Bates but missed their next three shots.
"I'm just disappointed with our whole demeanor as a basketball team right now," Allen said. "We don't start playing until we fall behind. We just seem to be looking for leadership out there on the floor. Even when we do some good things, we can't seem to find a way to do them consistently. We're just really struggling right now and we have to find a way to get out of it."