Howard University women’s basketball team rolled past Beltway rival Morgan State (MSU), 73-48, in their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opener Saturday while improving to 5-1 (1-0 MEAC) on the season.
The dominant performance began on defense, holding the Lady Bears just over 24 percent (17-of-70), including 9 percent (2-of-22) from downtown.
“They missed a lot of shots today,” said Howard head coach Ty Grace after the win. “We knew that they were really good getting to the rim, so we wanted to limit those opportunities. We did a good job containing them.”
Offensively, senior guard Jayla Thornton (Newark, N.J.) led the Bison attack, scoring a game-high 21 points.
“I am taking what the defense gives me,” Thornton stated after another outstanding performance. “I am trying to stay involve in the offense, even if I am not scoring. I just try to find ways to get better.”
The New Jersey product connected on four long balls, which moved her fourth on the MEAC all-time three-pointer leaderboard, surpassing Coppin State’s Rashida Suber. Currently, she has 246 career made three-point field goals.
Dahynye Redd put the Lady Bears ahead early, 3-4, but HU would take control and never relinquish.
Despite taking a five-point advantage after one, 18-13, Howard was dealing with foul trouble going into the half. Making their season debuts, juniors Gia Thorpe (Pittsburgh) and Krislyn Marsh (Houston) provided stability leading into intermission.
“It was good to have Gia and Krislyn back,” Grace expressed. “For us having balance and experience coming off the bench was great. It was good comeback performances for both.”
Howard held a double-digit halftime lead, 36-23, but Morgan State outscored HU in the third, 15-18, and sliced the margin down to 10 points, 51-41, but the Bison would make a statement in the fourth.
HU shot 50-percent (6-of-12) from the floor while holding the Lady Bears to only one made bucket in the fourth. Howard dominated Morgan State, outscoring MSU, 22-7, in the quarter.
Howard led nearly from start to finish, thanks to their aggressive attack at the rim. Collectively, the Bison shot over 72-percent (26-of-36) at the foul line.
Freshman forward Anzhane’ Hutton (Cedar Hill, Texas) fell just short of a double-double (15 points and nine boards) while fellow classmate Kaniyah Harris (Capital Heights, Md.) pulled down eight boards off the bench.
Thorpe added 10 points while Marsh grabbed seven rebounds in the win.
“We have a lot of threats on this team,” Thornton commented. “Teams focusing on me allows my teammates to go off. I have great teammates and they help me.”
For MSU (3-2, 0-1 MEAC), Redd had a team-best 16 points in the loss.
Both squads square off again Sunday at 2 p.m. inside the Hill Field House in Baltimore.