Howard begins Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play Saturday at North Carolina A&T. After last night's game with Fairleigh Dickinson, the Bison probably wish the Knights would become a league member.

Howard, which defeated FDU, 62-51, in the first-round of the Siena (N.Y.) tournament eight days ago, hung on to defeat the Knights again last night, 57-55, before 1,000 in Burr Gymnasium.

The victory improved Howard's record to 4-7. FDU, an ECAC Metro school, is 7-4.

Howard was tied twice in the first half, but never trailed in the contest.

The game was marred by a controversy at the game's end. Leading, 57-55, Howard's John Spencer had an inbounds pass stolen by Fred Collins (10 points), and the Knights called a timeout with 14 seconds remaining.

Collins missed a short jumper which was rebounded by Howard's Mike Hampton (11 points). Hampton, who made two baskets off the delay in the last two minutes, was fouled with no time showing on the clock. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the Knights rebounded as the buzzer went off.

"You cannot be awarded a timeout if no time is left," said FDU Coach Tom Green. "We were awarded a timeout. The referee told us we would have time to run an inbounds play. The next thing I knew, the Howard coaches and players were shaking hands."

Howard's Fred Hill scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the first half as the Bison took a 32-24 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Bison appeared to put the game out of reach following a three-point play by guard George Hamilton (14 points) that gave Howard a 50-43 advantage with 6:40 remaining.