With a 79-65 win over Delaware State in its home finale on Monday evening at the Convocation Center, the Hampton men’s basketball team clinched the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season title.
It is the first such title for the Pirates (18-9, 13-2 MEAC) since 2002.
The Pirates, defending MEAC Tournament champions, have won five straight games. They will be the top seed in next week’s MEAC Tournament (March 7-12 in Norfolk, Va.).
Quinton Chievous led four Pirates in double figures, tying his career high of 29 points on 13-for-17 shooting and grabbing a team-high 14 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season.
Despite jumping out to 12-4 lead, Hampton found itself down 26-20 at the 5:47 mark after the Hornets went on a 22-8 run.
A Mrdjan Gasevic layup gave Delaware State a 35-26 lead with 1:58 left in the half, but that was the Hornets’ last field goal of the half. Hampton, meanwhile, ended the half with five unanswered points, cutting the gap to 35-31 on a Chievous layup with 50 seconds left.
The Pirates then grabbed momentum coming out of the break, opening the second half with a 13-4 run to take a 44-39 lead at the 13:08 mark. The Hornets fought back, taking a 50-48 lead with 10:28 remaining after a Devin Morgan three.
But Hampton responded with a 15-2 run, taking a 63-52 lead with 5:21 left to play after a layup from Darden. After the Hornets took that 50-48 lead, the Pirates outscored them 21-15 over the remainder of the contest.
Delaware State (7-23, 5-10 MEAC) was held to just 37.9 percent shooting (11-for-29) in the second half. The Hornets also went just 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) from the free throw line.
DeAndre Haywood led the Hornets with 18 points.
Morgan honored again: Delaware State freshman Devon Morgan has earned the MEAC Rookie of the Week award for the fifth time this season.
Morgan combined for 51 points in two games last week, including a career-high 31 vs. conference leader Hampton on Feb. 22. His point total in the Hampton contest is tops on the Hornets and among all MEAC freshmen this season.
In the last two games, Morgan connected on 16-of-28 shots from the floor (.571), 9-of-16 from three-point territory and 10-of-11 at the free throw line.
For the season, he is tops on the Hornets and 24th among all MEAC players in scoring at 12.1 points per game.
WOMEN, Delaware State 89, Hampton 81: N’Kayah Kersey, Nikkei Blackburn, and Mikah Aldridge each had 19 points to pace the Hornets to the MEAC win.
Blackburn also had 20 rebounds.
Delaware State (9-19, 6-9 MEAC) shot 44.6 percent (25-for-56) from the floor and made 33 of 44 free throws (75.0 percent). The Hornets also had a decisive advantage on the glass, out-rebounding the Pirates 54-26.
Ivana Negron and Kersey hit all their free throws down the stretch, and NaJai Pollard hit a layup with five seconds left to clinch the victory.
DSU’s Sherrod to transfer: Standout defensive lineman Gabe Sherrod announced he is transferring from Delaware State to Syracuse for his final season of college football.
Since Sherrod will be a graduate student, he will be eligible right away for Syracuse.
Sherrod led the Hornets in sacks with eight and tackles-for-loss with 25 a year ago. After the season he was named to the All-MEAC First team.
Sherrod was tops in the MEAC and second among all NCAA FCS players in tackles-for-loss per game. He was also selected as an HBCU All-American this past season.
DSU goes 2-3 in tourney: Delaware State went 2-3 in Charleston Southern’s Wingate by Wyndham Invitational over the weekend.
DSU (4-6) picked up victories over Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe Savannah State, 10-0, and host CSU, 7-4. The Hornets fell to the Buccaneers, 4-3, in addition to dropping both games to undefeated UT-Arlington Mavericks, 10-2, 7-5.
The Hornets had 10 hits against Savannah, led by outfielder Nicole Gazzola going 3-for-3 with three runs, two stolen bases, a walk and an RBI. Sandy Hawthorne went 3-for-4 effort with three RBI.
Picking up the victory was junior Nicole Brock (2-1) after surrendering two hits and fanning four in three innings.
In the win over Charleston Southern, the score was tied 3-3 in the top of the seventh when Jordan Stamps connected for a three-run homer.
Gazzola, Hawthorne and Stamps all registered two hits.