Mike Hampton scored 14 points in a balanced Howard offense and the Bison took advantage of poor free-throw shooting in the first half by South Carolina State for a 79-66 victory last night in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Burr Gymnasium. It was Howard's sixth straight victory.
Howard went on a 21-8 run midway through the second half to extend a 55-54 lead to 76-62.
"We didn't execute well in the beginning," Howard Coach A.B. Williamson said. "But I was pleased with our defensive effort in the second half. We were able to stop their penetrating. I just liked the way the guys sucked it up on defense."
Howard's defense led to numerous fast breaks during its second-half spurt. Center Robert McIlwaine started the run by hitting a free throw with 8:18 left to give Howard a 56-54 lead. Senior guard Jeff Williams and junior guard William Stuart followed with fast-break layups for a 60-54 lead, and South Carolina State called a timeout.
After the timeout, Hampton sank a 12-footer, McIlwaine scored on a tip-in, Robert Jones hit a short jumper and Hampton added another layup to give Howard a 68-58 lead with 3:01 left.
"Stuart and Williams ran the club well tonight," said Williamson. "And McIlwaine was very steady inside. I like the way this team is blending. We're getting better with every game and we are starting to show the consistency I'm looking for."
Williams and McIlwaine scored 12 points each and Jones had 10 to help the Bison (8-5, 2-0 in the MEAC). Fred Hill had six assists.
S.C. State (4-7, 0-3) was led by Mac Joiner (19 points, 11 rebounds). Theodore Allison scored 12 points, 10 in the first half. The Bulldogs made only 12 of 22 foul shots; Howard hit on 15 of 20.
In the first half, Howard took a 37-33 lead as the Bulldogs missed seven of 12 free throws. The Bison, trailing by 26-20 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half, went on a 16-5 run with Williams scoring eight points and Earl Smith getting two layups. Gallaudet 73, Cecil 60
Brian Ramsey made 13 of 19 field goals and six of eight free throws for 32 points and had 14 rebounds, leading Gallaudet over visiting Cecil. Gallaudet is 2-8; Cecil is 4-10.