By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent
New Journal and Guide
The Howard Bison men’s basketball team defeated Norfolk State in the closing seconds of the game to win their first MEAC championship since 1992. Howard’s Jelani Williams poured in 20 points and made two free throws with 6 seconds left to give Howard a 65-64 win over NSU (22-12 overall, 9-5 MEAC).
Howard (22-12 overall, 11-3 MEAC) punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament by capturing the MEAC’s automatic bid.
Norfolk State’s Dana Tate led the Spartans with 19 points and Joe Bryant added 18 points. Howard’s Shy Odom was named the MEAC’s MVP and Howard Coach Kenneth Blakeney was named the tournament’s Outstanding Coach.
In the women’s championship game, Norfolk State (26-6 overall, 11-3 MEAC) defeated Howard (16-14 overall, 10-4 MEAC) 56-52 to capture their first MEAC title since 2002 and second overall. NSU’s Niya Fields and Diawara Makoye each scored 11 points.
Destiny Howell paced Howard with 30 points, including eight 3 pointers in the losing effort. NSU’s Kierra Wheeler was named the MEAC’s MVP. NSU Coach Larry Vickers was named the MEAC’s Outstanding Coach. Coach Vickers told the media after the game, “I am just so happy for this group. They worked hard for this and were determined to win this championship.” With the victory, NSU earned the MEAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.