TALLAHASSEE, FLA., FEB. 2 -- Howard missed three one-and-one chances from the foul line in the final 26 seconds in dropping a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game tonight to Florida A&M, 79-77.

Howard's George Hamilton and Skip Bynum were fouled two seconds apart, at :26 and :24, but each missed. Tyrone Powell was fouled with :01 left, and hit the first shot to trim a 79-76 deficit. His second shot missed the backboard and he was called for a violation.

"I tried to hit the back of the rim so we would have a chance for the rebound, but I missed," said Powell. He had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bison (10-8, 4-3) led by two at the half. The lead changed seven times in the second half. The score was last tied at 67 when Bison John Spencer dunked with 4:03 left. Then Aldwin Ware's dunk off a steal highlighted an 8-2 run that gave the Rattlers (14-4, 8-2) a 75-69 lead at 2:14.

The Bison fell behind, 79-73, but stayed in the game when Bynum hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds left. Following a steal by Powell, Howard had one more chance with eight seconds left. Bynum missed a three-pointer.

At the outset, A&M had regulars Reggie Henry -- who ended with 22 points -- and Terry Giles -- six points, five assists -- benched for discipline, and Howard jumped to an 11-0 lead, and led by as much as 13.

Ware scored 26 points.