Win or lose, Howard makes every game an adventure because of its inability to hold a lead.

But last night sophomore guard Robert Riddick scored seven of Howard's last nine points as the Bison held on for a 91-87 victory over South Carolina State at Burr Gymnasium in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup.

The victory was the first in seven tries against South Carolina State (12-14, 9-6 MEAC).

The Bison (7-19, 6-9) had an 88-77 lead when the Bulldogs made a run. South Carolina State scored eight straight points, cutting the lead to 88-85 with 51 seconds to play.

Following a Howard timeout, Riddick made two free throws after being fouled by forward Eric Sanders to make it 90-85.

On the Bulldogs' next possession Sanders scored with 13 seconds left. Howard inbounded to Riddick, who was fouled. He made one of two free throws with 12 seconds to go, sealing the victory.

"When I got in the game, I had the confidence to handle the ball, and make the shots." said Riddick. "Coach {Butch} Beard designed the play for me, and I was fouled. I knew I could make the free throws."

Howard's defense was the unsung hero in the game, as it held South Carolina State forward Travis Williams, who was averaging 21 points a game, to 18. Most of those came early, and he fouled out with 4:47 to go.

"We tried to establish the flow of the game but we had no defense," said Williams, who was hampered by back spasms. "We only gave a 75-percent effort, and did not do anything in the last five minutes. I was in some pain, but that's no excuse."

Howard senior forward Tyrone Powell came off the bench to lead all scorers with 20 points and his defense helped keep Williams in check.

"Howard played well tonight and shot the ball well {57 percent}," said Bulldogs Coach Cy Alexander, a Bison assistant for 11 years.

"We could never get over the hump, and back into the flow of the game."

Howard, because of the conference seeding, has a good chance of facing South Carolina State again, in the MEAC tournament.