Vannessa Graham sank a free throw with 12 seconds left and helped force a turnover in the final seconds as Howard held off Delaware State, 56-55, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament semifinal game today at the Civic Center.

The defending tournament champion Bison (18-10) will play regular-season champion South Carolina State (21-4) for the women's tournament championship Sunday at 1. South Carolina defeated Bethune-Cookman, 59-54.

Howard led by 43-27 with 13:56 to play before the Hornets began to rally. Carlene Albury had six points, including a foul shot that tied the game at 53 with 1:11 left.

Vikki Kennedy's 15-footer pushed the Bison ahead, 55-53, with 55 seconds left but Albury made a fallaway baseline jumper to gain the Hornets another tie at 55 with 32 seconds to play.

Graham was fouled on an attempted jumper and made her second free throw to give the Bison a one-point lead. After a timeout, Delaware State tried to work the ball inside but Graham and two other defenders got their hands on the ball and, after a few seconds, the ball was knocked downcourt toward the Bison basket.