CLEVELAND — Kyle Foster scored 18 points and Randall Brumant and Elijah Hawkins each added 17 points as Howard University defeated Morgan State 68-66 in the first-ever HBCU Classic as a part of NBA All-Star Weekend at Cleveland's Wolstein Center.
The matchup between the two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents came down to the wire, with the two teams trading leads over the course of the game's final 10 minutes. Morgan State, however, had initially appeared poised to cruise to an easy win, overcoming an initial 8-2 deficit with a 26-10 run to take its first double-digit lead with 6:23 remaining in the first half.
But after a Chad Venning jumper stretched the Bears' lead to 41-29 less than two minutes into the second half, Howard fought back with a 17-6 run to pull within a point of Morgan State. Foster's 3-pointer with 12:37 remaining pulled the Bison within one point of the Bears, with a pair of free throws from Steve Settle III giving Howard a 57-56 lead with 5:56 remaining.
A De'Torrion Ware 3-pointer regained a two-point lead for Morgan State, with a pair of Tai Bibbs free throws tying the game at 59. The two teams would eventually remain tied at 63, with a pair of Lagio Grantsaan giving the Bears a two-point lead with 1:18 remaining in the game.
A pair of Hawkins free throws would tie the game at 65 with Foster hitting a pair of free throws with 33 seconds remaining to give Howard the final lead of the game. Ware missed a 3-pointer, which would have given Morgan State a lead with 20 seconds remaining, with Foster extending Howard's lead with another made free throw from the charity stripe.