NORFOLK, Va., March 9, 2018 — Malique Trent-Street scored a game-high 25 points to lead five players in double figures in a dominating 96-86 win over North Carolina A&T State in the semifinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament at the Scope.
The Pirates (19-14), the No. 1 seed, advances to Saturday’s championship at 1 pm against North Carolina Central. The game will be aired on ESPNU.
Hampton, which came into the game riding a nine-game win streak, made easy work by taking the early lead and never trailing en route to a 49-37 halftime advantage. The Pirates’ defense set the tone by limiting the Aggies (20-14) to 37 percent shooting. Charles Wilson-Fisher, Trent-Street and Jermaine Marrow combined for 32 of their team’s points as Hampton connected on 50 percent (17 of 34) of its shots.
“We played as good as we can play tonight,” said Hampton head coach Ed “Buck” Joyner. “Our last loss was to North Carolina A&T and since that time we have learned to define roles. There is no stress. Coming into the tournament, we talked about playing for a championship. I am proud of the way team responded.”
Hampton never wavered in the second half and maintained a double-digit lead through most of the second half. Femi Olujobi and Aaren Emead tried desperately to rally their team, but each time NC A&T would make a run and cut the lead to single digits, the Pirates would get an answer from Trent-Street Greg Heckstall and Kalen Fisher.
Equally important in the victory was the Pirates’ defense which was credited with five but change several and forced the Aggies into missed shots or turnovers.
Down the stretch, Hampton any attempts of a rally by converting on 70 percent (16 of 23) from the charity strip and 86 percent (27 of 36) for the game. Hampton came into the game among the nation’s leaders in free throw shooting at 72 percent.
Trent-Street led all scorers with Wilson-Fisher tallying 25 points, Wilson-Fisher with 18 off the bench, Fisher with 15, Heckstall with 13 as a reserve and Jermaine Marrow with 12.
NC A&T was led by Olujobi with 22, Emead with 20, Denzel Keyes with 17 off the bench and Kameron Langley with 15.