Could there be a better way to celebrate Women’s History month? Howard University Women’s basketball team brought the MEAC trophy to Washington DC, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in basketball in over 20 years. The women defeated Norfolk State (whose men won their conference tournament earlier in the day). The Bison came into the postseason with high expectations. The squad put together a 17-9 regular season record and was ranked number one heading into the MEAC tournament.
The Bison have been led by shooting guard Destiny Howell and her 12.9 points per game, and her 25-point performance in the MEAC finale was a thing of brilliance. It came after the team’s third leading scorer, guard Iyana Warren, put up a season high 21 points against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the semi-final game. The team will need both offensive threats to defeat their next opponent—Incarnate Word. The 13-16 Cardinals shocked the Southland conference, after finishing fifth in the regular season, to take the Southland tournament crown. Their Overtime win over Southeastern Louisiana in the final was a thrilling end to their surprise invitation to the NCAA tournament.
Head Coach Ty Grace has guided Howard since taking over at Howard six seasons ago. She won the coach of the year last season; and was rewarded with a contract extension this past offseason. In her stint, Coach Grace has shown to be a rising star in the world of coaching, and Howard is better for having her hand on the steering wheel for a program that is rising along with her.
If Howard is fortunate enough to win against the Cardinals, they will have arguably the biggest test in school history—the South Carolina Gamecocks. South Carolina lost a heartbreaker in the semi-final game to the eventual champion Stanford University. South Carolina is coached by Dawn Staley. To consider her a legend may still be an understatement. She is a former Gold medalist, WNBA player, and led South Carolina to the title in 2017. While her on-court accolades are numerous, the work she has done for highlighting the importance of Black female head coaches, has helped to shed light on the inequalities faced within the sport.
The play-in game against Incarnate Word will be on March 16th at 7pm ET. You can catch the game on ESPNU. Go support your school and its athletes as they embark on a journey not seen in over two decades!