Butch Beard, in his first home game as Howard University basketball coach, did what most coaches strive to do -- put his team in a position to win. But the Bison, who have not won often in the past three years, could not take advantage of the situation and lost to Campbell University, 74-73, last night at Burr Gymnasium.

Trailing by one point with 14 seconds remaining, the Bison only managed to get a 21-foot shot by center Julius McNeil. The rebound went out of bounds and Howard had another chance with one second left, but Milan Brown's off-balance 15-footer from the left side fell short of the rim.

"I told them to try and take the ball to the hoop," said Beard. "But the game should not even have come down to that. Learning how to win is tough. You have to learn who will take the big shot and learn who will make the big defensive play. It will take time for us to learn."

The loss was the 11th in 12 games for the Bison, who fell to 1-5 this season. Four of the losses have come by a combined nine points.

Campbell's 6-foot-9 Marvin Edmonds, who went to Theodore Roosevelt High School, but never played basketball until he was in the Army, finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.