Hampton wins Battle of the Bay, defeats Norfolk State, 64-53
Hampton won this year’s Battle of the Bay over Norfolk State, 64-53, on Saturday at the HU Convocation Center.
The Pirates got revenge after falling in double OT a season ago at NSU. They pulled ahead in the second half while holding NSU to a cold shooting night.
The Spartans fell to 3-8 overall despite a 20-point night from senior Steven Whitley. He shot 7-of-15 from the floor with six rebounds. Junior Devante Carter was the only other Spartan in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting with six boards.
Ben Stanley led the way for Hampton (4-6), tallying 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds. Greg Heckstall added 14 points for the Pirates.
NSU made just 29.6 percent from the floor, the first time the Spartans were held to less than 30 percent shooting in two years. That included a 3-of-22 effort from beyond the arc, several of those misses coming with good open looks at the basket.
Despite the loss, the Spartans started off strong. They led 9-0 to begin the game, as it took Hampton almost six minutes to get on the board. Carter drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 13-6 at the 10:54 mark before the Pirates cut the lead to three.
Hampton ended the half on a 10-2 run, as a 3-pointer from Dondre Griffin with time running down gave the Pirates a 22-19 lead at the break. The Spartans shot just 24 percent in the first half.
The Spartans scored six of the first eight points of the second stanza to take the lead back. It was a back and forth game from there, as neither team led by more than two for almost eight minutes. The Spartans finally got beyond that when they went ahead by five at 40-35 with 9:51 to go.
The Spartans went ahead thanks to their free throw shooting. They hit 15-of-17 in the second half and 18-of-21 for the game.
HU got a couple of buckets to again tie the score – the game featured seven lead changes – and the Pirates went ahead by three as Stanley continued his solid play. Whitley kept NSU in the game, but with less than five minutes to go Amir Smith threw down a huge fastbreak dunk that gave them a five-point advantage.
The dunk ignited the crowd and marked the last bucket by the Pirates. After Whitley made it a three-point game on an immediate trip down the court, HU scored its last 13 points of the game from the free throw line on 14 attempts.
The Pirates shot 20-of-43 from the floor (46.5 percent), 11 less attempts than the Spartans. They finished 19-of-27 from the charity stripe and held a 38-30 advantage on the glass over NSU. They also outscored the Spartans 10-3 in second-chance points.
NSU forced 18 turnovers and outscored the Pirates 12-6 in points off turnovers. Aside from Whitley and Carter, no other player had more than six for them.
Smith totaled 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for HU, which also held a 6-1 edge in blocks for the evening.
The Spartans will next head to Chicago to take on Loyola on Dec. 15.