WASHINGTON – Howard University women’s basketball team moved into a first-place tie in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Northern Division standings after defeating Coppin State (CSU), 60-51, inside Burr Gymnasium on Jan. 17.
With the victory, HU improved to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in league play.
Defensively, HU held the Eagles to 29-percent (16-of-55) shooting, including 26-percent (5-of-19) behind the arc, while forcing 21 turnovers.
“Our defense definitely turned up a notch today,” said Howard Women’s Basketball head coach Ty Grace. “We wanted to put more pressure on Coppin State and not letting them get comfortable in their offense. Our pressure also forced some turnovers, which we were able to capitalize on. I was happy with the effort today.”
Nine Bison scored despite a tough shooting day from the field (30-percent) and foul line (55-percent). Newcomer Anzhane’ Hutton (Cedar Hill, Texas) had a bounce back performance, producing a game-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting in the win.
“Anzhane’ had a good bounce back today,” Grace stated on her freshman standout. “We can’t forget, she’s a freshman that’s still learning and growing. But she’s not the type of player that’s going to roll over and quit after a tough game. She has a winner’s mentality and will continue to get better.”
HU held a 13-10 advantage after one, but CSU tied the contest at 19 with a pair of freebies from Jalynda Salley with less than five minutes left before intermission. From there, Howard regained the momentum and closed the period on a 13-4 spurt to take a nine-point lead at the break, 32-23.
Hutton connected on a jumper and extended the Bison’s lead to double digits after intermission, 36-26, but the Eagles fought back with a 15-4 run and held a slight advantage with 4:08 remaining in the third, 40-41. Howard finished the third frame on a 7-2 spurt to take a four-point lead into the fourth, 47-43.
Moments into the fourth, HU put the game out-of-reach with a 9-2 run and held its largest advantage of the contest after a fastbreak layup by junior forward Krislyn Marsh (Houston), 59-48, with more than two minutes remaining.
HU scored 22 points off the bench, led by Marsh and fellow classmate Gia Thorpe (Pittsburgh) combining for 14 points.
“Gia and Krislyn are veterans and they understand their contributions are very important to our success,” Grace commented. “Whether they come off the bench or start, they know their opportunity to impact the game is there. Coming back from injuries are always tough, but I know they will continue to put in the work.”
Second-year forward Makayla Minett (Chicago) also provided a spark off the bench, recording a team-leading nine boards and three rejections.
“Makayla had a solid day and really got on the glass tonight,” Grace stated on the Chicago native. “She knew that’s where she could make the most impact versus Coppin State’s big post presence. She also did a great job protecting the rim and finishing inside.”
Fellow Chicago native Brooklynn Fort-Davis also pulled down nine rebounds in today’s victory.
“Brooklyn has definitely been a staple in our front court this season,” said Grace on her second-year forward. “She is a smart player who can hurt you inside and out. When she’s playing with energy and confidence, she makes us better.”
For CSU (1-5, 1-3 MEAC), Salley notched a double-double (14 rebounds and 13 points) while Alexandra Hamilton and Aliyah Lawson netted 13 and 11 points, respectively, in a losing effort.
On Jan. 30-31, HU continues its home stretch with a pair of matchups against Delaware State. Both days are scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Courtesy photo: Herman Shelton/Howard University Athletics