Howard Flexes Muscle In Upset
Despite entering Friday’s contest as a double-digit underdog, the Howard University Men’s Basketball pulled off the upset against UMass, 68-63. The game was part of the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational.
With the victory, HU (4-0) remains unbeaten after four games in the books this season.
Guards RJ Cole (Union, N.J.) and Charles Williams (Richmond, Va.) combined for 36 points in the win. Cole had 17 points after going a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe while the Virginia product posted a game-high 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting behind the arc.
“We knew going in we had a good team,” said Howard Men’s Basketball head coach Kevin Nickelberry. “We added some pieces around [RJ] Cole and [Charles] Williams that has helped elevate our play on court.”
Redshirt guard Chad Lott (Shreveport, La.) is among those new pieces, registering 12 points and seven boards in 29 minutes of action. Freshman center Akuwovo Ogheneyole (Delta State, Nigeria) recorded his first career double-double with 14 rebounds (game-high) and 11 points in the win.
“[Chad] Lott has given us another all league type of guard that can do a lot of things,” Nickelberry continued. “The trio of freshman big guys with [Zion] Cousins has been a huge asset as well.”
Off the bench, Cousins contributed with six boards, five points, and two dimes in the victory.
The bison continue dominance
HU dominated the glass, outrebounding the Minutemen, 46-33, but the biggest difference was shooting in the first half. Howard eclipsed 50-perfect (14-of-28) from the floor, including 6-of-12 from long range, whereas UMass shot under 27-percent 8-of-30) from the field.
“We got out fast with scoring from Williams and Cole and controlled the rebounding all night with Savior [Akuwovo Ogheneyole] and Cousins,” Nickelberry added. “I’m proud of this group of young men and coaches.”
For UMass (2-2), Luwane Pipkins and Jonathan Laurent had double-figure outputs. Pipkins posted a team-best 18 points while Laurent netted 16 points in a losing effort.
“We’re doing things the right way with focusing on being great students first,” Nickelberry concluded. “Tonight, we were able to get an early statement game that validates the progress we are making on the court.”
HU continues its road swing in Carbondale, Ill. where the Southern Illinois Salukis awaits. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.
All information via Howard press release
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