Thursday, December 22, 2016

Howard Charge Back For 71-68 Win Over Fairleigh Dickinson

HACKENSACK, New Jersey – The Howard women's basketball team battled back from a seven-point deficit to take down Fairleigh Dickinson, 71-68, in the Rothman Center during a Thursday matinee.

With the win, HU improves to 3-8 on the season – including 3-1 against Northeast Conference opponents – while FDU drops to 2-9.

Rookie Imani Bryant poured in a career-high 19 points, just barely missing out on a double-double with nine rebounds. She was 9-of-12 on the afternoon and tallied six blocks.

Redshirt junior Erin Blaine came out with 14 points and 7 boards, while redshirt senior Te'Shya Heslip notched 11 points, seven assists and three steals. Heslip wrote her name in the program's history books as she joined the exclusive 1,000-point club.

Senior Jasmine Hill didn't miss at the charity stripe as she went a perfect 6-for-6 on her way to 10 points. Classmate Sydni Johnson added nine points and five boards.

Howard held FDU to a 37.1 field goal percentage (23-62) and connected on 48.9 percent (23-47) of its shots. The Bison also made 25 of their 34 attempts at the free throw line for a 73.5 percent rate.

HU dominated the Knights down low, outscoring the home team 44-26 in the paint. The Bison put up 25 points off of FDU's 26 turnovers and got 19 points from the bench.

The Bison got off to a quick start, leading by as many as seven points, 17-10, midway through the first quarter. FDU began to settle in as the period wore on to tie the score twice before getting a 25-23 edge at the end of one.

Howard tied the game early in the second quarter, but saw the Knights get out to their largest advantage of the matchup, 35-28, with five minutes left in the half. Thanks to a trio of tallies in the paint, the Bison were able to cut into the deficit and head into the locker room down by four, 39-35.

HU picked up right where it left off to open the second half as it dashed away on a 14-3 run to regain the lead, 49-42, at the 3:54 mark. The Knights clawed their way back as the two teams exchanged points at the free throw line, leaving Howard with a slight 55-54 edge going into the last 10 minutes.

The final period was a back and forth battle that featured three ties and six lead changes. After a three-pointer put FDU up, 64-61, Heslip sank both free throws and Bryant laid the ball in to give the upper hand back to the Bison, 65-64, with 1:41 left to play. Heslip followed that up with a steal that led to an and-one conversion for her 1,000th point and Howard was able to hold off the Knights to come away victorious, 71-68.

The Knights werBOe led by 12 points and nine rebounds from Brianna Thomas as well as 12 points from Kiana Brown. Courtney Blankenship and Peniel M'Bikata earned 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Howard will step onto the court in Burr Gymnasium for the final time in 2016 when it hosts Vermont on Friday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.



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