Bison Bulldoze through Bulldogs for Fifth Straight Win

In its largest margin of victory on the season, the Howard Bison overtook fellow MEAC opponent South Carolina State, 59-25, extending its winning streak to five-straight games. Cheyenne Curley-Payne got the Bison (10-14, 6-4 MEAC) rolling with three crisp shots behind the arc to immediately put HU up, 15-3.

“Cheyenne hit big shots for us,” Bison assistant head coach Brian Johnson said.

“We had good execution of our plays and in our defense. We made key stops and we scored which resulted in great execution tonight.”

With a little over five minutes into the game, Bison threat Tamoria Holmes temporarily left the game with a shoulder injury. She would return later in the half where she quickly converted back-to-back field-goals, including a three-pointer and a layup on a breakaway steal to push up the Bison, 32-5. Holmes finished with 10 points after the first 20 minutes.

Offensively, the Bison would break away to a 36-7 lead going into halftime as the Bulldogs (2-8, 6-14 MEAC) failed to convert shots and recorded a mere five offensive rebounds.

The Bison outpaced the Eagles in rebounding, 23-11, as HU capitalized on 14 defensive rebounds. Howard would score six of its first half points on second chances, whereas the Bulldogs were limited to none.

South Carolina State’s Tiara Knotts, however, would attempt to bring her team up
late in the game after landing three baskets from behind the arc, closing the
scoring gap, 54-23.

Holmes, Curley-Payne, and MEAC leading-scorer Saadia Doyle would return to the game in attempt to slow down the Eagles’ momentum. The dynamic trio powered forward with an impressive Bison defense until the close of the game, holding SCSU to 18 points in the second stint. In their noteworthy defensive stance, the Bison tallied 14 assists, three blocks, 12 steals and a season high of 44 total rebounds.

Curley-Payne dominated with 12 rebounds (three offensive, nine defensive) in the conference win. Meanwhile, Doyle finished with 12 points in the game, leaving her 103 points shy of the monumental 1,000 point mark. Tasia Majors made an appearance in the second half and recorded her first points in her collegiate career.

“Minutes are valuable for preparing for tournaments,” Johnson said. “We try to give everybody at least two to three minutes, here and there. As for today’s game, we were focused on playing hard against a team that beat us twice and knocked us out of the tournament last year. We made sure we won and Cheyenne helped with key shots early on.”

In the final stretch of the regular season, every game is crucial for the Bison. Entering in Monday’s battle with South Carolina State, the Bison were locked in a five-way tie for third place in the conference and look to stay on pace to break higher the conference ranks as they hit the road to take on North Carolina A&T on Sat. Feb. 12.

“Our focus was to win the home games, and we accomplished that,” Curley-Payne said. “Now we have to take the confidence we build with us on the road.”

Photo: Howard's J. O'neal scores two against South Carolina. Photo/W. Barron for DC UrbanSports.