In the New Jersey version of the Battle of the Bay, Norfolk State got the better of Hampton 83-71 in the second game of Michael B. Jordan’s HBCU Legacy Classic.
Reigning MEAC Player of the Year Joe Bryant Jr. was the star of the show scoring 29 points and dishing out five assists.
The two stars off of the bench for Norfolk State were Dana Tate Jr. (21 points and six rebounds) and Cahiem Brown (16 points, three rebounds and five assists). The other starter in double-figures was Kris Bankston (11 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks), who had two powerful dunks in the second half off of lobs from Bryant and Brown respectively at crucial points in the game.
All of Hampton’s offensive production came from their starting lineup as four of their five starters were in double-figures, with Marquis Godwin leading the way with 21 points.
The tone for this game was set in the first few minutes as after the Pirates went up 6-0, the Spartans went on a 9-2 run.
Hampton came clawing back with a 13-6 run that was sparked when Nesbitt scored on a baseline layup and Godwin made a 3-pointer to help put them up 28-21. After that, it was Bryant who made two 3-pointers to pull Norfolk State back within one at halftime.
The turning point came as after the two teams were tied at 51 with 11:37 to go. The Spartans went on an 8-0 run that was capped off by 3-pointers by Bryant and Tate.
It was notable that Mullen suffered a knee injury before that run and missed a good portion of the half. It definitely had an impact on the Pirates as by the time he finally returned, Hampton trailed 64-51.
Hampton managed to pull within single digits on the backs of Mullen and Tate who each had buckets to cut the deficit to 66-58. Once again, Bryant answered the call as he went on a personal run to put the Spartans up by 13 points.