Like most Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference teams, Howard and Morgan State usually enter conference play with losing records as a result of playing most of their non-conference games on the road against major conference schools for big paydays.
Morgan State's arduous schedule paid off Saturday when the Bears ran past the Bison 87-58 in each team's MEAC opener at Hill Field House.
Morgan State (2-7) led wire-to-wire, gradually expanding its lead at every media timeout. Howard opted for a 2-3 zone in an attempt to limit the touches of the Bears' 7-foot-2 senior center, Ian Chiles.
But Morgan State foiled that plan with balance. Senior guard Justin Black led five double-figure scorers with 17 points, contributing a spate of highlight-film plays as the Bears ran away during a 50-point second half.
Black dunked twice in just over two minutes early in the half, helping Morgan State establish a 53-35 lead with 14:36 remaining. He added a between-the-legs pass to forward Cedric Blossom for a transition dunk at the 4:03 mark to make the advantage 78-50.
It was the ninth straight loss for the Bison (2-9), who go back out of conference Thursday night to visit Central Florida. The Bears are idle until Dec. 18, when they host High Point.