HAMPTON, Va. - In a sloppy, choppy and, at times, testy encounter, Hampton rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to defeat Bethune-Cookman 75-66 Monday at HU Convocation Center. Deron Powers
led the Pirates with 17 points and four assists, while Emmanuel Okoroba and Wesley Dunning
each had 11. Adrien Coleman
led the Wildcats with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Allan Dempster had 14 and Javoris Bryant
had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Bethune-Cookman was held to 38 percent shooting (23 of 61), making just 3 of 16 3-pointers.
The Wildcats (12-18, 7-8 MEAC), leading 38-32 at halftime, extended their lead to 45-34 with 17:14 left on an Alex Smith layup.
But the Pirates (14-15, 11-4) made 12 of their first 19 second-half shots (63 percent) and used a 16-4 run to take a 50-49 lead with 11:19 left. The Pirates finished by shooting 44 percent for the game (23 of 52).
Javoris Bryant's jumper briefly gave the Wildcats the lead again, but Powers made a layup on the Pirates' next possession, and Ramon Mercado
converted a 3-pointer, though he received an unsportsmanlike technical foul for excessive celebration.
Still, the Pirates maintained the lead and were able to pull away down the stretch, getting key minutes from several reserves, including Wesley Dunning, who scored nine of his 11 points in the second half
Bethune-Cookman took a six-point lead at intermission behind Dempster's 10 points and Coleman's nine points and 10 rebounds.
Hampton was led at halftime by Okoroba with nine points, while Powers and Du'Vaughn Maxwell
each with seven. Two of Maxwell's seven came on a spectacular reverse slam.
Early foul trouble plagued both teams, as the Pirates' backcourt of Aaron Austin and Powers both went to the bench with three fouls each in the first half, forcing coach Ed Joyner, Jr. to go to his bench to seldom-used Jasper Williams for the last six minutes of the first half. Austin picked up his fourth early in the second half.
The Wildcats had foul troubles of their own, as Smith and Marc Mack also picked up three fouls apiece in the first half.
The teams combined for 25 first-half fouls and 16 turnovers in the first half
Powers was the dominant force early, scoring all seven of his points in the first 4:45, putting the Pirates up 9-8.
The teams exchanged the lead eight times in the first half, with the Wildcats scoring five of the last six points of the half to take a six-point lead.
Both teams shot under 40 percent for the half, with the Wildcats making 39 percent (13 of 33) while the Pirates were at 37 percent (11 of 30). However, the Wildcats outrebounded the Pirates 25-19 and had 12 second-chance points to the Pirates' two.
Notes: Hampton can finish at .500 for the regular season with a win against North Carolina Central on Thursday. ... The Pirates started the day tied for third place with Savannah State. The top three teams in the regular season receive a first-round bye in the conference tournament ... The Pirates' Ramon Mercado was named the MEAC's plwyer of the week, while Du'Vaughn Maxwell was named defensive player of the week.
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