Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hampton Pirates Battle Back to Defeat Bethune-Cookman

HAMPTON, Virginia  –  Despite trailing by as many as 10 in the second half, the Hampton University men's basketball team battled back to beat Bethune-Cookman 75-70 Saturday evening at the HU Convocation Center.
The Pirates improved to 7-7 overall and 3-0 in MEAC play.
Reginald Johnson, Jr. led three Pirates in double figures with 18 points, hitting seven of his 11 free throws, while also dishing out four assists and grabbing three steals. Brian Darden and Jervon Pressleyeach added 17 points; Pressley also grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Pressley also set a new career high in points.
Darden, who also dished out four assists, hit three 3-pointers.
The Pirates shot 44.1 percent (26-for-59) from the floor – including a 52.0 percent clip (13-for-25) in the second half – hitting five of their 21 3-pointers (23.8 percent) and 18 of their 33 free throws (54.5 percent). Hampton also held a 42-30 edge on the glass.
Ricky Johnson gave Bethune a 56-46 lead with 13:09 left in the second half with a 3-pointer – one of four he hit in the second half – capping a 9-0 Wildcats run. Hampton kept chipping at the lead, cutting it to six on four separate times.
When Reginald Johnson hit a layup with 8:28 remaining, it cut the Wildcats' lead to 62-56 and kick-started a 7-0 Pirates run that ended when Reginald Johnson hit a pair of free throws with 7:10 remaining that cut the lead to 62-61.
A 6-2 Wildcats spurt gave Bethune a 68-63 lead with 4:49 remaining, but from that point on, Bethune only managed one field goal. Hampton ended the game on a 12-2 run – taking the lead back with 46 seconds remaining on a Reginald Johnson 3-point play that put the Pirates up 73-70.
Darden hit two free throws with four seconds left to ice the game.
The Pirates jumped out to a 13-2 lead to open the game, and with 13:22 left in the first half, Hampton took a 20-6 lead after a free throw from Reginald Johnson. A 14-5 Bethune run followed, cutting the Pirates' lead to 25-20 at the 7:20 mark.
In fact, Bethune cut the lead to 34-33 with 2:32 left in the half, and the Pirates went into the locker room for halftime with a just a 38-36 lead.
Darden led the Pirates with 12 points at the break.
Bethune opened the second half on a 20-8 run – which was what allowed the Wildcats to take that 10-point lead at the 13:09 mark.
Bethune-Cookman (4-12, 1-1 MEAC) shot 45.6 percent (26-for-57) from the floor and made eight of 24 3-pointers (33.3 percent). The Wildcats also went 10-for-13 (76.9 percent) from the free throw line.
Ricky Johnson led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points.
The Pirates will play host to Florida A&M on Monday at 7 p.m. For more information on Hampton University basketball, please call the Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5811, or visit the official Pirates website at



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