With the Huskies fresh off a blowout victory 65 – 34 over Iona, the Huskies should be ready to wallop the Howard Bison from the MEAC conference. Not so fast, my friend!
The Huskies second game against Howard (3-2 MEAC) is a step up in competition.
The Bison have four players who are double figures scoring threats (i.e., scoring average at or near double figures) including Sarah Edmond, Gia Thorpe, Ayonna Williams and Jayla Thornton.
Edmond also leads the Bison with 4.4 assists per game, so she is the catalyst for the Bison offense.
The Bison do not shoot as well from the field as UW in any capacity, i.e., free throw percentage, field goal percentage and three-point percentage .
Although Howard does shoot a very respectable 35.5% from beyond the three-point line, but they have a low Three-Point Shot Rate of 24.2% (266th nationally) which means they do not overly rely on the three-point shot — though they probably should.
As far as offensive style, Howard is an excellent catch-and-shoot team, in fact, it is the only offensive category in which they excel (per Synergy), and it is also their most common offensive strategy.
Interestingly, Howard likes to run in transition almost as much as they catch-and-shoot, but they are below average in transition offense.
Thus, if the Huskies play decent transition defense they should be able to neutralize Howard’s transition offense.
Howard does have a high Free Throw Rate of 19.0%, which means they get to the free throw line a lot.
The Huskies must avoid cheap fouls that put Howard at the line and keep the Bison in the game longer
One anomaly regarding Howard’s transition offense is that the Bison are fairly good at breaking press defense and generating offense, which should be an interesting development to watch as the Huskies will likely press Howard all game.
Finally, Howard is an excellent offensive rebounding team (Top 40 nationally), so the Huskies must control the boards defensively and limit Howard’s second chance points.
Washington’s keys to a victory against Howard are three-point defense, transition defense and defensive rebounding with limited fouls.
If the Huskies can be aggressive without committing cheap fouls, then they should win this contest.