NORFOLK, Va., March 8, 2023 – Bryce Harris came off the bench for 20 points and seven boards to power top-seeded Howard to a 91-55 win over the eighth-seeded South Carolina State Bulldogs Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Tournament at the Scope Arena.
Shy Odom, the MEAC Rookie of the Year, added 13 points and Elijah Hawkins, a First Team All-MEAC selection, contributed 10 in the victory, the Bison’s third in as many outings against S.C. State this season.
Head coach Kenneth Blakeney’s team improved to 20-12 and earned a spot in Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal contest between fourth-seeded Maryland Eastern Shore and Morgan State, the fifth seed.
S.C. State ended its campaign at 5-26. Coach Erik Martin’s team was paced by Cameron Jones with 14 points and Lesown Hallums with 10. Davion Everett had eight rebounds to go along with two points for the Bulldogs.
Howard, using the long ball effectively, rolled to a 38-21 lead at the half and never allowed the Bulldogs to get back in the contest. After going to the locker room ahead by 15, the Bison began the second half with a 17-4 run to go build a 30-point cushion – 55-25 – when Harris got inside for a layup with 15:10 remaining.
The Bulldogs Jordan Simpson, a member of the league’s 2023 All-Rookie Team, got a layup for SC State but Howard scored 13 of the next 17 points to build an insurmountable 61-27 advantage with 13:25 to play. Howard took its biggest lead of 43 points, 77-34 with 8:21 remaining.
Howard connected on 8-21 field goal attempts from beyond the arc, but it seemed like more as the long ball was instrumental in both Bison big runs. Marcus Dockery, who had nine points in the game was 3-5 from three-point range for Howard.
Overall, Blakeney’s team hit 50.7 percent (35-69) of its shots from the field, including a 38.1 percent from long range.
S.C. State struggled throughout the game with its shooting, making just 32.8 percent (21-64) of its attempts overall and 24.1 percent (7-29) from behind the arc.
Fifty of Howard’s 91 points came in the paint as opposed to 26 for the Bulldogs, and the Bison enjoyed a slight 43-39 edge on the boards.
The Bison took an early 9-4 lead in the contest before S.C. State came back to deadlock the game at 12-12 on a 3-pointer by Jones with 10:28 left in the half.
Howard’s Jordan Wood, who had seven points in the game, answered with a 3-pointer of his own and Odom put in a long ball to trigger a 20-0 run by the 2023 MEAC Champions that put them ahead 27-12 with on two free throws by Bryce Harris with 7:13 on the first-period clock.
The Bison connected on four baskets from beyond the arc during the spree. A 3-pointer by the Bulldogs’ Jones snapped the Howard run to make the score 27-15 with 6:46 left in the opening half. A 11-6 run by Howard in the closing minutes of the half sent the Bison to the locker room ahead 38-21.