There was a lot more excitement than there should have been at Burr Gymnasium last night. Morgan State, having one of its worst seasons ever, threatened for 39 minutes to upset Howard University. But Morgan missed two foul shots with seven seconds left to help Howard to its sixth straight victory, 69-67.
Howard trailed, 65-62, with four minutes to play. But Bernard Perry's 25-foot jumper and Rodney Wright's steal and layup off the ensuing inbounds pass put the Bison (14-9) back on top, 66-65.
After James Ratiff's foul shot gave Howard a 67-65 lead with 1:49 left, Morgan State (4-22) played for the final shot. With seven seconds left, Howard center James Terry fouled Yarharbrough Roberts.
Roberts, who scored 19 points, missed both shots. After he missed the second, there was a tieup and, under the alternate possession rule, Howard got the ball.
Howard's Perry was fouled, and made two foul shots with four seconds left for a 69-65 Bison lead. And Morgan's Jacoby Wheeler, who played during the final minutes because of his long-range shooting ability, made a 40-footer at the buzzer for the final margin in the last home game of the season for the Bison.
The Bison were led by the 6-foot-5 Perry, who scored 20 points. Perry made three clutch jumpers down the stretch to offset brilliant offensive performances by Roberts and guard Ed Stevens, who scored a game-high 26 points.
It marked the final home game for Howard seniors Warren Davis, Wright, Lawrence Norfleet, Terry and Ratiff.
Howard led by 10 points in the first half, but Morgan's rebounding cut the gap to 36-34 at halftime.
Morgan fell behind, 50-41, early in the second half, but the Bears went to the backboards again. Roberts' two foul shots cut the Bears' deficit to 56-51, and when Howard's Ed Swails missed a hurried 20-footer, Stevens scored on a nifty drive (and Howard goaltended) to bring Morgan within 56-53.
Ratiff missed a shot and the 6-foot-1 Stevens scored again after getting an offensive rebound and layup inside, reducing Howard's lead to 56-55. Morgan State took the lead, 57-56, when Roberts scored after Norfleet was called for a three-second violation.
But Howard, as it didn't do at times earlier this season, held its poise in the last three minutes.