James Ratiff, James Terry and Bernard Perry paced Howard to a 66-48 victory over Baptist College of Charleston, S.C., before 2,400 at Burr Gymnasium last night.
In past games this season, the Bison have been unable to hold a big lead. Last night another replay of that failure seemed to be beginning as the Bucks outscored the Bison, 11-4, in the first seven minutes of the second half and cut a 13-point lead to six.
"We missed some easy shots in the second half," said Bison Coach A.B. Williamson. "You just don't have any explanation for missing easy shots. We're still pressing and afraid of making mistakes."
After a timeout, Ratiff scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the last 10 minutes to stake Howard to a lead that never shrank to fewer than nine points. m
"I was pleased to see Ratiff playing his game out there tonight," said Williamson. "I thought Ratiff and Perry (13 points) played well in all phases of tonight's game, and James Perry (15 points, 14 rebounds) rebounded well in the second half."
In addition to his 21 points, Ratiff had 15 rebounds and five assists as the taller Bison outrebounded Baptist, 44-25. Howard also forced 21 turnovers in the second half and turned them into 15 points.
A large part of the Bison's second half problems were caused by the absence of point guard Rodney Wright, and continued back spasms troubling forward Larry Spriggs. Wright injured his right shoulder last week and didn't suit up.
"When you are missing your quarterback, you're going to have problems. Wright means a lot to us," said Williamson, who tried three different point guards while trying to find a combination that would work.
Howard raised its record to 8-5, 6-0 at home. Baptist fell to 2-11.