Pendarvis Williams scored 16 points and teammate Rob Johnson added 13 as Norfolk State came back to beat visiting Hampton 74-67 Saturday evening in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) contest. Norfolk State (12-1, 7-0 in the MEAC) remained unbeaten in league play as the Spartans came back from a 7-point deficit at halftime. Malcolm Hawkins added 11 points for Norfolk State. Hampton (5-13, 2-3) was paced by Deron Powers (20 points), Emmanuel Okoroba (13) and Du'Vaughn Maxwell, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. But the Pirates had 18 turnovers and made just 13 of 21 free throws and four of 20 shots from 3-point range. The Pirates led 49-45 early in the second half but Norfolk State battled back and took a 60-54 lead with 5:40 left in the game. Rashid Gaston's score off an assist by Jamel Fuentes gave the Spartans a 64-54 lead with 5:00 left. A basket by Powers pulled the Pirates to within 67-58 with 2:47 left and he made another basket to make it 67-61 with 1:55 to go. But with the score 68-61, Powers missed a layup with 1:19 to go and Ramon Mercado of Norfolk State hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to make it 70-63. Williams made two free throws with 26 seconds left to give the Spartans a lead at 72-63 to put the game away. Powers was nine of 13 from the field for Hampton while Maxwell was six of eight. Hampton took a 22-17 lead midway through the first half on a 3-pointer by Ramon Mercado and led 29-22 before Norfolk State cut the lead to 29-27. The Pirates led 37-30 after a basket by Wes Dunning with 27 seconds left in the first half and a basket by Deron Powers with eight seconds left gave Hampton a 39-32 lead at the break. Williams, averaging a team-high 13.1 points per contest, had eight points in the first half for Norfolk State. The Spartans made just 33 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half while Mercado had nine points in the first half for Hampton. Norfolk State jumped out to a 9-6 lead as Malcolm Hawkins, averaging 12 points per game, scored seven of the first nine points for the Spartans. Hampton took a 10-9 lead on a free throw by Emmanuel Okoroba, who scored six of the first 10 points for the Pirates. Hampton was coming off an overtime loss at home on Monday to Coppin State. Norfolk State entered the game with a five-game winning streak and was coming off a 73-71 win against Morgan State on Monday. Norfolk State made the NCAA tournament last year back of Kyle O'Quinn, who is now a rookie for the Orlando Magic. NOTES: Next up for the Pirates on Wednesday is a trip to South Carolina State while the Spartans play Feb. 2 at Coppin State. ... The teams meet again Feb. 18 at Hampton. ... O'Quinn, who helped Norfolk State beat Missouri in the NCAA tourney last season, said earlier this month he keeps in touch with his former teammates. He had dinner with Norfolk State in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 13, the day before the Magic played at Washington and Norfolk State played at Howard in the nation's capital.
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