BALTIMORE, Md. – Behind a career effort from junior guard Brian Darden, the Hampton University men’s basketball team stormed past Morgan State 93-65 in front of a national ESPNU audience Monday night in Hill Field House.The Pirates, with their third straight win, improved to 11-14 overall and 7-5 in the MEAC.

Darden scored a career-high 23 points, going 7-for-8 from the floor and hitting six of his seven 3-pointers. Junior guard Reginald Johnson  added 17 points, while junior guard Deron Powers  chipped in 10 points.

Redshirt junior guard/forward Dwight Meikle grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

In scoring a season-high 93 points, the Pirates shot 54.4 percent (31-for-57) from the floor and hit nine of 22 3-pointers (40.9 percent). Hampton shot 60.7 percent (17-for-28) from the floor in the first half alone, hitting eight of 16 3-pointers.

Hampton also held a 51-37 edge in rebounds.

There were four lead changes and two ties in the opening minutes of the contest, and the game was tied at 10-10 with 15:57 left in the first half. But a 3-pointer from Darden at the 14:49 mark gave the Pirates a 13-10 lead and broke the game open early.

In fact, that bucket kicked off a 23-4 run, and the Pirates took a 33-14 lead with 9:26 left in the half following a putback from Johnson.

Johnson added a free throw at the 7:47 mark to put Hampton up 36-16.

After the Bears cut the lead to 36-17, the Pirates scored the next 12 points, taking a 48-17 lead with 3:54 left in the half following a pair of free throws from guard Quinton Chievous Hampton took a 52-20 lead into the half after a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Gregory Hayden  with 36 seconds left.

Darden had 18 points at the break, with six 3-pointers.

A 9-3 run to open the second half gave the Pirates a 61-23 lead at the 16:10 mark, before the Bears answered with a 10-3 run to cut the lead to 64-33 with 14:20 remaining. Morgan State cut the lead to 66-41 with 11:53 left, before the Pirates went on an 11-2 run to take a 77-43 lead with 9:40 left after a layup from freshman Charles Wilson-Fisher

Another Wilson-Fisher layup with 8:00 to play gave Hampton an 81-44 lead.

Morgan State (7-19, 5-7 MEAC) shot 32.4 percent (23-for-71) from the floor and made just three of 18 3-pointers (16.7 percent).

Rasean Simpson led the Bears with 23 points.

hamptonpirates.com


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