Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hampton Pirates Clinch MEAC Top Seed With Win Over DSU

HAMPTON, Virginia -- With a 79-65 win over Delaware State in its home finale on Monday evening at the Convocation Center, the Hampton University men's basketball team clinched the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular-season title.

It is the first such title for the Pirates (18-9, 13-2 MEAC) since 2002.

The Pirates, defending MEAC Tournament champions, have won five straight games. They will be the top seed in next week's MEAC Tournament (March 7-12 in Norfolk, Va.).

Quinton Chievous had a monster game to lead four Pirates in double figures, tying his career high of 29 points on 13-for-17 shooting and grabbing a team-high 14 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. Lawrence Cooks came off the bench to add 16 points and four assists.

Brian Darden added 15 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and Reginald Johnson, Jr. had 13 points.

Jervon Pressley grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots.

The Pirates shot 43.3 percent (26-for-60) from the floor – including a 50.0 percent clip (14-for-28) in the second half. Hampton was 7-for-21 (33.3 percent) from behind the arc and 20-for-30 (66.7 percent) at the free throw line.

Hampton also held a 42-37 edge on the glass.

Much like Saturday night against Howard, the Pirates found themselves trailing in the first half on Monday; despite jumping out to 12-4 lead, Hampton found itself down 26-20 at the 5:47 mark after the Hornets went on a 22-8 run.

A Mrdjan Gasevic layup gave Delaware State a 35-26 lead with 1:58 left in the half, but that would be the Hornets' last field goal of the half; Hampton, meanwhile, ended the half with five unanswered points, cutting the gap to 35-31 on a Chievous layup with 50 seconds left.

Chievous led all scorers with 14 points at the half.

But the Pirates grabbed momentum coming out of the break, opening the second half with a 13-4 run to take a 44-39 lead at the 13:08 mark following a three from Cooks. The Hornets fought back, taking a 50-48 lead with 10:28 remaining after a Devin Morgan three.

Hampton responded with a 15-2 run, taking a 63-52 lead with 5:21 left to play after a layup from Darden. In fact, after the Hornets took that 50-48 lead, the Pirates outscored them 21-15 over the remainder of the contest.

Two Cooks free throws with 57 seconds left gave Hampton its largest lead of the night.

Hampton has won each of the last three match-ups with Delaware State, including last season's MEAC Tournament championship game.

Delaware State (7-23, 5-10 MEAC) shot 41.7 percent (25-for-60) from the floor and was held to just 37.9 percent shooting (11-for-29) in the second half. The Hornets went just 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) from the free throw line.

DeAndre Haywood led the Hornets with 18 points.

The Pirates will close out the regular season on Thursday at Norfolk State at 8 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 www.hamptonpirates.com.



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