Malcolm Hawkins poured in 18 points as Norfolk State extended its winning streak to 11 games with a 62-59 victory over Hampton on Monday in Hampton, Va.
The Spartans (17-10, 12-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) now have won three straight in the "Battle of the Bay" series with Hampton, the MEAC's other member located in the Tidewater area of Virginia.
Norfolk State is off to its best-ever start in conference play ever as a Division I member. The Spartans are two victories away from equaling the program-record 14-0 start in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1989-90, back when Norfolk State was a Division II school.
Hawkins scored in double digits for the 10th time in a 12-game span. Rashid Gaston also had a strong effort for Norfolk State, amassing 17 points and nine rebounds.
Hampton (10-14, 7-4) saw its five-game winning streak end despite dominating the boards. The Pirates outrebounded Norfolk State by a 55-35 margin, with 24 offensive boards. Du'Vaughn Maxwell was the top rebounder with 10, and he tied Ramon Mercardo for the team high in scoring, each producing 12 points.
After trailing for the first 17 minutes and going into halftime tied 32-32, Norfolk State appeared to take control early in the second half. The Spartans opened the second half on a 19-5 run and led by as many as 12 points.
Then Norfolk State went into a prolonged offensive funk, going 5:53 without scoring and 7:01 without a field goal. That allowed Hampton to pull within 60-59 entering the final minute. Hawkins sank a layup with 27 seconds remaining to halt the field-goal drought, and the Spartans made three straight defensive stops to preserve the victory.