John Gay's 18-foot jump shot with one second left last night gave the Howard men's basketball team its second straight win following its worst start ever, a 63-62 decision over perennial Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference power Coppin State at Burr Gymnasium.
Howard (2-15 overall, 2-6 MEAC) began the season 0-15 before beating Maryland-Eastern Shore Saturday.
The Bison trailed by 12 points with 10 minutes 5 seconds to play, but held the Eagles without a field goal for 9:55 during a 19-7 run. The turnabout ended a 22-game regular season conference winning streak for Coppin State and was Howard's first success against the Eagles since the 1991-1992 season.
Howard Coach Mike McLeese "was saying once we got the one win, we would roll," said freshman guard Jabari Outtz, who led the Bison with 19 points. "We came in expecting to win -- nothing else. When we got down by 12, we did not put our heads down. We got right back in the game and kept playing."
Not until freshman Melvin Watson gave Howard its first lead with 1:33 left did the Bison allow a field goal: Antoine Brockington's basket with 10 seconds left, which gave Coppin a 62-61 lead.
After a Howard timeout, Outtz took the ball and squared up for a final shot before losing control on his release. He managed to pass to Gay on the left wing and he launched the game-winning shot to send the 2,750 fans into a wild celebration.
"When Jabari lost the ball and sent it my way, my eyes lit up," said Gay, who finished with four points. "When the momentum changed, there was no way we were going to lose." Reggie Welch led the Eagles (10-8, 7-1) with 19 points.
Meanwhile, Denique Graves scored 17 of her game-high 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Howard improved to 7-1 in the MEAC with a 68-51 win over Coppin State. The Bison are 9-7 overall, while the Eagles fell to 7-9, 5-3. Graves, the MEAC player of the week last week, is averaging 23 points in her past three games.