Courtesy of Ed Hill, Jr., retired Howard University Sports Information Director
WASHINGTON (November 9, 2022) – Steve Settles, III and Jordan Wood each scored 19 points to lead five players in double figures as Howard University held off a pesky University of the District of Columbia team, 87-74 in the home opener at Burr Gymnasium.
Playing without their team leader and floor general, sophomore guard Elijah Williams (5-11, SOPH, G, Washington, DC) the Bison (1-1) struggled early with both their shooting and with turnovers. The Firebirds (0-1) took advantage of the lapses and made it an interesting contest by forcing the tempo and challenging the taller Bison.
With their guard, Michel Aiken, Jr scoring in a variety of ways, UDC managed to take the lead by nine just before the half. Then came what was perhaps the turning point as Settles knocked down some key free throws to get his team to withing one at 37-36 at Intermission.
It spurred the play of his teammates and they responded as Wood (6-9, F, JR, San Antonio, TX), who had missed seven of his first eight shots, caught fire from long range, connecting on three from beyond the arc. It opened things up along for some balanced productivity off the bench from Bryce Harris (6-4, SOPH, G, Brentwood, NY), Miles Stewart (6-7, R-FR, F, Orlando, FL) and the steady play of Jelani Williams (6-5, G, GR, Washington, DC), who started in place of Hawkins. It helped propel a 20-9 run that gave the Bison their biggest lead of the game at 11.
But the Firebirds, who lost by 28 at the Burr last season, refused to be intimidated and with the play of Eric Morgan (11 of his 13 in the second half) and Jahmir Marable-Williams (10 of 14 after intermission), they reduced to margin back to five with 14 minutes in the second half. UDC was able to keep it at that deficit several times before the Howard size and depth advantage proved to be too much.
Harris recorded a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds while Williams and Stewart contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. Williams also had five assists.
Howard shot 15 more free throws than UDC and held a 43-27 advantage on the boards.
Howard returns to the court on Sunday when they host Gallaudet at 12 noon.