HAMPTON, VA-The Hampton University men’s basketball team controlled much of Saturday evening’s contest against rival Howard at the HU Convocation Center and withstood a late rally to take a 63-47 win.
The Pirates are now 12-11 overall and 7-3 in the MEAC. Senior forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell led the Pirates with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while sophomore guard Brian Darden added 14 points. Sophomore guard Ke’Ron Brown grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds.
Howard led 4-1 after a James Miller jumper with 16:08 left in the first half, then the Bison went cold – not hitting another field goal until the 5:03 mark, when Damon Collins hit a layup. In that span, the Pirates went on a 21-2 run, taking a 22-6 lead at the 5:24 mark on a jumper from Maxwell.
After the Bison ended their drought, the Pirates scored five unanswered points – a jumper from redshirt-sophomore guard Dwight Meikle and a Maxwell trey – to take a 27-8 lead with 3:19 left in the half. Howard didn’t hit double figures until the 2:50 mark, after a trey from Solomon Mangham. Meikle ended the half with a pair of emphatic dunks – the first being a one-handed reverse jam with a defender in his face – off a no-look pass from senior guard Ramon Mercado with 1:27 left in the half to put the Pirates up 31-13.
He ended the half with another dunk, a two-handed putback stuff as the clock wound down to send the Pirates into the break with a 36-15 lead. Howard had five field goals and 12 turnovers in the first half. A Maxwell tip-in with 15:49 to play gave the Pirates a 42-17 lead and capped a 6-2 run to open the second half. Howard responded with a 10-0 run, its first sustained offensive production of the night, to cut the lead to 42-27 with 11:48 left after three free throws from James Daniel.
Key added a trey with 7:18 left to put the Pirates up 51-31. After Maxwell stuffed home a dunk to give the Pirates a 53-34 lead, the Bison went on a 6-0 run, cutting that lead to 53-40 at the 5:04 mark after a jumper from Prince Okoroh. Tyler Stone cut the Pirates’ lead to 54-43 with a pair of free throws with 2:12 to play, before Darden added two free throws of his own with 2:09 left to put Hampton up 56-43. Howard again cut the lead to 56-45 with 2:02 left after Daniel hit two free throws.
Maxwell answered with two free throws with 1:51 left to put Hampton up 58-45. After Darden hit two more free throws, sophomore guard Deron Powers iced the game with a 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down to put the Pirates up 63-47 with 44 seconds left to play.
The Pirates shot 34.6 percent (18-for-52) from the floor and made six of their 18 3-pointers (33.3 percent). Hampton also hit 21 of its 27 free throws (77.8 percent) and dominated the Bison on the glass to the tune of 46-33. Both teams committed 22 turnovers.
Howard (6-18, 4-5 MEAC) shot just 28.6 percent (14-for-49) from the floor, unable to recover from an inefficient first half, and hit just three of its 12 3-pointers. Daniel led the Bison with 21 points.