In the fifth edition of the MLK Day Classic, the Howard Bison won over the Morehouse Maroon Tigers 89-65 in a matchup between two of the most renowned HBCUs in the country.
The game also marked the first time that Howard has ever played another HBCU on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Previously the Bison played two Harvard and Yale — both of the Ivy League — and then Notre Dame last season.
Elijah Hawkins was the standout performer for the Bison with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals against Morehouse. He also shot 67% from the field and 71% from the free-throw line.
Shy Odom, a freshman, had 8 points, three rebounds and two steals. It was just one part of a complete performance by Howard’s starting lineup with Marcus Dockery (11 points and six rebounds), Jordan Wood (11 points) and Steve Settle (6 points and two steals) all making key contributions.
Also, Kobe Dickson chipped in with 12 points, Bryce Harris scored 11 points and Jelani Williams tallied 6 points off the bench.
The game started off as a back-and-forth affair as Howard and Morehouse traded buckets at the beginning of the first half. Kerry Richardson carried the Maroon Tigers on offense initially as he scored their first 8 points of the game on a dunk and two 3-pointers.
Both teams made crucial mistakes early on as Morehouse had six turnovers compared to just three for Howard. Also, both teams shot 44% and 61% from the free-throw line, respectively.
With Morehouse leading 14-12 with 11:22 in the first half, Howard completely asserted their will, as the Bison went on a 28-9 run to go into halftime leading 40-23.
The onslaught didn’t let up in the second half as Settle, Odom and Wood each made one 3-pointer to increase the lead to 49-25. Hawkins continued to show off with an easy layup, another assist to Odom and a steal and layup in transition.
Howard led Morehouse 80-41 at one point with less than 9 minutes to go.
Given that Morehouse is a Division Ⅱ school and Howard is in Division Ⅰ, the result of this matchup affects both of them in different ways.
Morehouse is sixth in SIAC with a 7-8 overall record and a 2-4 in conference play. Howard is fifth in MEAC with a 10-10 overall record and a 2-1 conference record.