NORFOLK, Va. – The Hampton University men’s basketball team saw five players score in double figures in Monday night’s first-round matchup with Morgan State, leading to a 91-71 win at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
The sixth-seeded Pirates (13-17) will take on No. 3 seed Maryland Eastern Shore on Thursday in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m.
“I felt that in the second half we were able to play our tempo,” head coach Edward Joyner Jr. said. “We like to push the tempo and get as many point as we can. We still committed too many turnovers, but we were able to limit them to one shot in a lot of situations.”
Junior guards Deron Powers (Williamsburg, Va.) and Reginald Johnson (Chicago, Ill.) each had 18 points to lead the Pirates, while junior guard Brian Darden (Hampton, Va.) poured in 15 points. Junior guard Ke’ron Brown (Savannah, Ga.) and redshirt freshman forward Charles Wilson-Fisher (Los Angeles, Calif.) each added 10 points.
Powers also had a team-high five assists, while Johnson dished out four. Wilson-Fisher also came off the bench to grab a team- and career-high eight rebounds.
The Pirates shot 55.6 percent (30-for-54) from the floor, their second-best field goal percentage of the season, and hit five of their 10 3-pointers. Hampton also went 26-for-36 (72.2 percent) from the free throw line and out-rebounded Morgan State 39-34.
A layup from Powers with 11:38 left in the first half gave the Pirates a 20-14 lead, their largest of the opening frame, before the Bears rattled off seven unanswered points to take a 21-20 lead at the 6:06 mark after a pair of Torin Childs-Harris free throws.
Andrew Hampton then gave Morgan State a 27-26 lead with two free throws with 3:43 left. But the Pirates closed the half on an 11-5 run, taking a 37-32 lead into the locker room after a dunk in the closing seconds from redshirt junior guard/forward Dwight Meikle (Baltimore, Md.).
Darden led the Pirates at the break with nine points.
Johnson’s layup with 14:03 left in the second half gave the Pirates their first double-digit lead of the night at 51-40. Morgan State then went on a 13-6 run to cut the lead to 57-53 with 9:32 remaining, before free throws from Powers and a Brown trey put Hampton back up 62-53 at the 8:24 mark.
When Hampton led 64-55 with 7:53 left, it marked the last time the Bears were within single digits. When Jamar Redmond cut the lead to 67-57 with 7:35 left, the Pirates responded with a 20-9 run, taking an 87-66 lead with 1:15 left after a pair of Darden free throws.
When Wilson-Fisher hit a jumper with 12 seconds left, it gave the Pirates their largest lead of the night at 91-69.
No. 11 seed Morgan State (7-24) shot 40.7 percent (24-for-59) from the floor and went 3-for-10 (30.0 percent) from 3-point range.
Blake Bozeman led the Bears with 19 points.