HAMPTON, Va. -- Northern Kentucky led most of the way and held on late to earn its first-ever Division I win, defeating Hampton 54-52 Thursday at the HU Convocation Center.
Chad Jackson led the Norse (1-6) with 18 points, while Jalen Billups added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Emmanuel Okoroba scored 16 points for the Pirates (2-8), who got 15 points and eight assists from freshman guard Deron Powers.
The Norse won despite shooting just 38 percent (18-for-48), as they held the Pirates to just 32 percent shooting 17-of-54 and just 2-for-19 on 3-pointers.
After Powers hit a shot with 4:32 remaining in the second half, the Pirates did not score another field goal until a Powers layup with 25 seconds left cut the Norse lead to 50-46.
After Jackson made one of two free throws, Hampton's Jasper Williams made a contested 3-pointer to cut the lead to two.
Fouled again, Jackson made another one of two free throws to extend the lead to 52-49 with 10 seconds left.
Powers raced down the court and converted a layup to cut the lead to 52-51 with 4.3 seconds remaining, but after Northern Kentucky's Nate Snodgrass made two free throws, Snodgrass fouled Powers in the open court with two seconds left before he could get off a 3-pointer.
Powers made the first of two free throws, then deliberately missed the second. Aafter a scramble for the rebound, the Pirates turned the ball over on an inbounds pass, and the Norse held on for the win.
Jackson and Okoroba exchanged baskets in the first half, as each had 14 points, each shooting 6-for-8 from the field.
Other than Jackson and Okoroba, however, both teams struggled from the field in the first half. The Pirates shot 35 percent (9-for-26), including just 1-for-10 on 3-pointers. The Norse shot 37 percent (10-for-27).
After the Pirates took a 7-6 lead on a 3-pointer from Ramon Mercado, the Norse went on an 8-0 run over the next six minutes to take a 14-7 lead.
The Pirates rallied to regain the lead at 17-16 with five minutes left in the half, but Jackson made two consecutive shots, allowing the Norse to retake a lead that they extended to 27-23 at halftime.
Norse leading scorer Eshaunte Jones, averaging 14.7 points per game, didn't score his first basket until the 15:51 mark of the second half.
The Pirates trailed by as many as six in the second half, but they regained the lead briefly on two free throws from Powers, his first points of the game, with 14:12 left.
Despite another poor shooting night for the Pirates, they stayed in the game by causing 15 turnovers and forcing the Norse into poor shots on a number of occasions late into the shot clock.
After a Du'Vaughn Maxwell dunk and Powers' first field goal, the Pirates tied the game at 40 with 5:38 remaining.
NOTES: Northern Kentucky's game at Hampton was its first since Dec. 4, a 75-69 loss at Texas Tech. ... The Norse are playing their first season as a Division I program. Thursday's game was their second of six straight on the road, the last two representing the start of their Atlantic Sun conference schedule. ... Thursday's game was Hampton's first-ever against an Atlantic Sun opponent. ... Powers entered the game leading the Pirates in scoring and assists, averaging 12.3 points and 4.4 assists per game.