Cole scored 23 in the second half for the Bison (2-10), going 10 of 10 from the foul line, six in the final minute.
Charles Vines had 21 points for the Shockers (3-7) with Elijah Maynard adding 13. The pair combined for 21 points in the first half when Washington Adventist took a 38-36 lead, outscoring Howard by six at the foul line.
A 7-0 run early in the second half, capped by Williams' 3-point play, put Howard up for good, 46-41. Cole and Williams scored back-to-back, Cole's a 3-pointer, pushing the lead to 15 with 8:22 left.
Washington Adventist cut it down to four with at the 1:41 mark but Cole made a layup and followed a turnover with the first of his closing free throws.
The rebuilding Wildcats are set to raise the 2018 national championship banner next week -- and also lower expectations for the season to come after multiple NBA departures.
Top stories from around the world in our round up
Michigan coach John Beilein can't yell or throw a chest pass yet after his offseason heart surgery, but the coach says he is ready for the upcoming season -- and fully expects to be recovered by that time.
|North Carolina A&T||11-5||1||20-15|
|North Carolina Central||9-7||3||19-16|
|South Carolina St||6-10||6||10-22|