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St. Peter's 66, Hampton 59

The SportsXchange

HAMPTON, Va. -- Hampton blew a 15-point first half lead, and Desi Washington had 26 points to lead St. Peter's to a 66-59 victory Saturday in an ESPN BracketBusters game at the Hampton Convocation Center.

Washington led the comeback for the Peacocks (9-18) and sealed the game late at the free throw line.

The Pirates (11-15) were led by Du'Vaughn Maxwell's 18 points and nine rebounds, but succumbed to a zone defense that stifled their inside game.

St. Peter's shot 42 percent (23-of-55) from the field, while Hampton made 40 percent (21-of-52) of their shots.

Washington's long-range shooting kept the Peacocks close until Blaise Tucker's two layups and free throw, plus a fast break layup by Blaise French tied the game, 43-43, with 11:48 remaining, which began a 10-0 run by the Peacocks.

Washington gave St. Peter's its first lead of the game, 47-45. Chazz Patterson's jumper and four free throws by Washington extended the Peacocks' lead to eight.

The Pirates cut the lead to three with under three minutes left, but Washington iced the game for the Peacocks at the free throw line, making 9-of-10 down the stretch.

The Pirates again made a concentrated effort to take the ball inside, with their first 16 points coming from inside five feet, leading to another decent shooting effort. They made 45 percent of their first half shots (13-of-29) on their way to a 34-25 halftime lead.

The Peacocks also went inside early, with a tip-in and layup for their first two baskets, but were the first to stretch out the game, as Chris Burke hit a 3-pointer to cut the Pirates' lead to 10-7.

After a 30-second timeout, St. Peter's switched to a 2-3 zone and also started trapping the Pirates, forcing four turnovers and three misses in four shots in the next 3:30.

Ramon Mercado loosened the zone slightly by hitting a 25-foot 3-pointer, and converted a rare four-point play on the Pirates' next possession to give them a 23-13 lead with 8:35 left in the half.

The Pirates got the ball back inside on their next possession, when Dwight Meikle made a short jumper, and then Mercado hit two more free throws to extend the lead to 27-14.

Hampton got the lead to as many as 16 points, but two 3-pointers by Desi Washington and a put-back at the buzzer by Burke cut the Pirates'

The Pirates continued to go inside, getting early layups from Ke'Ron Brown and Maxwell.

Washington buried a long 3-pointer and Yvon Raymond hit a layup for St. Peter's to keep the game within striking distance at 39-32 with 15:49 left.

The Peacocks fully erased the lead and the Pirates were unable to rally, getting as close as three before being forced to foul.

NOTES: St. Peter's and Hampton were meeting for the first time. ... St. Peter's senior forward Darius Conley, a native of Newport News, Va., returned to his home state to play for the first time since high school. He was an All-Peninsula District first-selection as a senior at Warwick High School. He came into the game needing 61 points to 1,000 points for his college career. ... St. Peter's came into the game having lost four of its last five, while Hampton had won six of its last seven.
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