Howard Coach A.B. Williamson wanted more leadership from his point guard, so, last night, he moved George Hamilton from shooting guard to the point. The hustling senior responded with 10 points, three assists and two steals as Howard defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore, 75-55, in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game before 1,350 at Burr Gymnasium.
Hamilton, who leads the Bison in scoring with an average of 16.6 points per game, took just seven shots from the field, making four. The scoring slack was taken up by Tyrone Powell (14 points), Howard Spencer (12) and Rocky Gholson (10). John Spencer scored only four points, but he grabbed 11 rebounds.
"It wasn't natural because I have a two-guard mentality," said Hamilton, who was credited with five turnovers, several of which were not entirely his fault. "This was the first full game I've ever played the point, but, after a few minutes, I felt fairly comfortable."
As a team, Howard committed 21 turnovers and shot only 40 percent from the field. However, the Bison used their rebounding strength to build a 59-34 advantage on the boards and get many second shots.
The Hawks (4-10, 3-4 in MEAC) played very well Saturday night in a 73-67 victory over Morgan State, but last night they could not seem to get their game together. After the first five minutes, UMES, which has allowed 88 or more points in six games this season, seemed to lose its intensity.
And it didn't take long for Howard (9-7, 3-2) to take command. After falling behind, 8-6, the Bison scored 11 unanswered points, four of them coming on outside shots from Gholson.
Mistakes and missed shots plagued the Hawks. UMES shot only 29 percent from the floor (20 of 68) and committed 16 turnovers.
Baskets by Keith Williams and Terry Barge closed UMES to four points before the Bison took off again.
Five quick points on two nice inside moves by Howard Spencer started another Howard run. This one took the Bison to a 32-15, with 2:29 to play in the first half.
"At the beginning, we weren't getting the rebounds to get our break going," Hamilton said. "They were trying to slow us down and we wanted to get the ball off the rim and run. We were looking for that big spurt."
UMES cut Howard's 12-point halftime lead to eight at the outset of the second half. But the Hawks' enthusiasm was short-lived as the Bison got into the running game.
With seven minutes left in the game the Bison led, 53-37.
Ga. Tech 85, Clemson 76:
Forward Duane Ferrell had 26 points and 12 rebounds, center Tom Hammonds had 19 points and 13 rebounds and the Yellow Jackets (14-3, 2-2 in the Atantic Coast Conference) defeated the Tigers (11-6, 1-4) in Atlanta.
Clemson guard Grayson Marshall of Temple Hills, Md., set an ACC career assist record during the game. His eight assists gave him 789, breaking the record of 781, set by Wake Forest's Tyrone Bogues.