HAMPTON, VA-Points were hard to come by for anyone not named Deron Powers Saturday night at the HU Convocation Center, but the sophomore guard poured in 23 points as the Hampton University men's basketball team beat rival Norfolk State 61-53.
The Pirates (17-11, 12-3 MEAC) won their sixth straight game and swept the season series over the Spartans for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Powers went 8-for-12 from the floor and hit three of his five 3-pointers. Senior forward Du'Vaughn Maxwell added 12 points and fell one rebound shy of his third straight double-double with a team-high nine rebounds.
Pendarvis Williams hit two free throws at the 11:02 mark of the second half to cut the Pirates' lead to 35-33, but Hampton went on an 8-0 run – punctuated by a fastbreak dunk from sophomore guard Ke'Ron Brown that put the Pirates up 43-33 at the 8:30 mark.
Norfolk State never got closer than within four, when Anell Alexis hit a layup at the 6:25 mark to slice the Pirates' lead to 45-41. Sophomore guard Brian Darden answered with a 3-pointer on the next possession to quell the Spartans' momentum and give Hampton a 48-41 lead. A Maxwell dunk and a Powers layup followed, and the Pirates led 52-41 with 4:23 remaining.
The Spartans went on a 6-1 spurt to cut the lead to 53-47 with 2:01 left after a pair of free throws from Malcolm Hawkins. But the Pirates hit six free throws in the closing minutes – on top of a breakaway layup from senior guard Ramon Mercado to put the game away.
Norfolk State only had nine field goals in the second half (compared to 16 turnovers) – and the Spartans went from the 12:17 mark to the 7:22 mark without a field goal.
The Spartans held a 17-11 lead with 9:00 left in a low-scoring first half, before the Pirates went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 17-17 on a free throw from sophomore guard Breon Key.
After Norfolk State took a 21-19 lead on a Jamel Fuentes jumper at the 4:33 mark, Hampton closed the first half on a 6-2 run, taking a 25-23 lead into the locker room thanks to a jumper from Powers with 56 seconds left in the half.
The Pirates shot 37.5 percent (21-for-56) from the floor and hit five of 19 3-pointers (26.3 percent). Hampton turned 25 Norfolk State turnovers into 26 points and held a 28-24 edge in points in the paint.
Norfolk State (16-12, 10-4 MEAC) shot 43.2 percent (19-for-44) from the floor – despite the Spartans' second-half struggles – but went just 3-for-11 from behind the arc. Hawkins and Brandon Goode each had 12 points to lead the Spartans.