HAMPTON- Hampton went cold in the second half on Saturday afternoon in its bracketbuster contest against Saint Peter’s, falling 66-59 at the HU Convocation Center. Junior guard/forward Du’vaughn maxwell, the reigning meac player of the week, led the pirates (11-15) with 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, while also grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Junior guard ramon mercado and freshman guard deron powers each added 11 points. Powers also dished out four assists.
Chris burke hit a jumper with 2:56 to play to give saint peter’s a 57-52 lead, before sophomore guard aaron austin hit two free throws with 2:41 remaining to cut that lead to 57-54. But desi washington hit two free throws with 1:43 left to put the peacocks up 59-54. Washington added two more free throws with 1:10 to play, giving saint peter’s a 61-54 lead.
Like much of the second half, the pirates had trouble scoring, missing two looks inside in the closing minute as washington hit three more free throws to push the peacocks’ lead to 64-56. Powers hit a trey off the glass with 12 seconds left to cut that lead to 64-59, but washington again hit two free throws to give saint peter’s a 66-59 lead and the win.
The pirates led 6-2 at the 17:33 mark after a jumper from powers, but saint peter’s later cut that lead to 12-11 after chris prescott hit a 3-pointer with 11:58 left in the first half. The pirates answered with back-to-back baskets, including an alley-oop slam by maxwell, and led 16-11 with 10:28 left.
After the peacocks cut the lead to 16-13, the pirates answered with an 11-0 run, taking a 27-15 lead after a pair of mercado free throws at the 7:39 mark. Mercado had all nine of his first-half points during that run. Powers hit another jumper at the 3:18 mark to put the pirates up 32-17, but saint peter’s closed the half on an 8-2 run, cutting hampton’s lead to 34-25 at the break.
Maxwell gave the pirates a 39-30 lead with a layup with 17:25 left in the second half, but saint peter’s fought back, going on a 15-6 run to tie the game at 45-45 with 9:18 left after a darius conley layup. That run grew to 19-6, as the peacocks took a 49-45 lead at the 7:45 mark after a chazz patterson jumper. Two washington free throws at the 7:26 mark gave saint peter’s a 51-45 lead.
The peacocks’ run finally grew to 23-6, giving saint peter’s a 53-45 lead after two more washington free throws with 6:49 to play. Hampton, meanwhile, went from 12:44 to 5:56 without a field goal, before maxwell slammed home a dunk and hit the free throw to cut the peacocks’ lead to 53-50.
The pirates shot 40.4 percent (21-for-52) from the floor, despite shooting just 34.8 percent (8-for-23) in the second half. Hampton made just three of its 13 3-pointers (23.1 percent) and went 14-for-19 (73.7 percent) from the free throw line. The pirates out-rebounded the peacocks 37-33. Saint peter’s (9-18) shot 41.8 percent (23-for-55) from the floor and hit five of 14 3-pointers (35.7 percent). The peacocks were also 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) from the charity stripe. Washington led saint peter’s with 26 points.