HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton University men’s basketball team led at the half on Monday evening against Morgan State, but the Bears mounted a strong second half and handed the Pirates an 80-71 loss at the HU Convocation Center.
After starting MEAC play 3-0, the Pirates (8-10, 3-2 MEAC) have lost back-to-back conference games.
Senior forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell (Manhattan, N.Y.) led three Pirates in double figures with 20 points and 12 rebounds, going 7-for-17 from the floor. Sophomore guard Brian Darden (Hampton, Va.) added 12 points, and sophomore guard Breon Key (Hampton, Va.) chipped in 10 points.
Morgan State jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, and the Bears led 11-4 with 15:10 left in the first half after a layup from Justin Black. The Pirates scored the next seven points, tying the game at 11-11 at the 13:17 mark after a trey from Key.
Morgan State jumped back out into the lead, and the Bears took a 25-16 lead with 8:03 left in the half, culminating a 14-5 run with a trey from Black. Hampton went on a 12-3 run to tie the game at 28-28 at the 5:16 mark after a slam from Maxwell.
Ian Chiles answered with a dunk of his own to put Morgan State up 30-28 with 2:45 left in the half, before the Pirates went on a 6-1 spurt to take a 34-31 lead with 28 seconds left in the half – following a putback, two-handed slam from Maxwell.
Black followed with a dunk of his own with four seconds left, sending the Pirates into the half with a 34-33 lead.
Maxwell led the Pirates with 12 points at the break, while Key had 10 for the Pirates.
Black had 17 points for Morgan State in the first half.
The Pirates took a 43-40 lead with 16:19 left in the second half on a jumper from sophomore guard Deron Powers (Williamsburg, Va.), but the Bears answered with a 19-6 run, taking a 59-49 lead with 9:50 left on a layup from Donte Pretlow.
Mercado ended a three-minute scoring drought for the Pirates, hitting a 3-pointer with 8:59 left to cut Morgan State’s lead to 59-52. The Bears then went on a 7-2 run to take their largest lead of the night, a 66-54 edge with 6:58 remaining.
Hampton scored eight of the next 10 points, cutting the lead to 68-62 with 2:03 left after a layup from Maxwell. Darden added a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left to cut the deficit to 70-66, as the Pirates attempted a comeback.
But Morgan State (6-10, 4-0 MEAC) went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the closing seconds and would’ve won by double digits if not for a technical foul against Black in the final second that resulted in two Darden free throws.
The Pirates shot 31.1 percent (19-for-61) from the floor and hit just six of 22 3-pointers (27.3 percent). Hampton also out-rebounded Morgan State 45-44.
Morgan State held a 50-22 edge in points in the paint, and the Bears shot 45.3 percent (29-for-64) from the floor, making three of their nine 3-pointers. The Bears also scored 22 points off turnovers, compared to 12 for Hampton.
Black led all scorers with 24 points.