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Second-half struggles lead to Hampton men’s third straight CAA defeat

HAMPTON — Hampton University couldn’t get back in the win column Saturday, extending its losing streak to six games with a 80-69 loss to Campbell.

The Pirates dropped to 4-11 overall and remain winless in Coastal Athletic Association play after three games.

Similar to Hampton’s previous home game against James Madison in December, Saturday’s matchup with Campbell was a tale of two halves.

“Good first half, bad second half and it’s been a tale of the tape for us throughout the year,” Hampton head coach Buck Joyner said. “We got to figure it out and we will. We just went through a tough stretch, a tough road stretch, and it hurt us here again at home. But we’ll get through it.”

Hampton was up 40-37 at halftime and shot 51.7% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc.

In the second half, Campbell outscored Hampton 43-29 as the Pirates’ shooting numbers dropped to 33% from the field and 44.4% from 3-point range.

“I think a lot of those were missed layups,” Joyner said. “I mean, we had some stuff up under the basket that we didn’t finish. But again, we have to figure out a way to fix that.”

Tedrick Wilcox led the Pirates with 18 points and his shooting numbers were indicative of the team’s. He scored all of his points in the first half on 6-for-8 shooting, but was 0 for 2 from the field in the second half.

Wilcox felt Hampton’s shot selection was partially to blame for the drop in shooting percentage in the second half.

“I’m not discrediting (Campbell’s) defense, but I don’t think they did anything different or to like knock us off,” Wilcox said. “I feel like in the first half, we kind of were looking for the easiest and the best shot for the team. The second half, a couple guys (were) in a rhythm, so people kind of took some tougher ones because that’s as expected once you get more into rhythm and they didn’t really go our way and (Campbell) kind of went on a run and capitalized off it.”

The momentum started turning in favor of Campbell early in the second half.

Hampton came out and turned the ball over twice and Campbell was able to turn those turnovers into quick points.

“I felt like that was the start of it,” Joyner said. “We did come out lackadaisical to start the second half. Couple of bad passes, then we missed a couple of easy shots. Then that put pressure back on us defensively. But again, it was a tale of two halves and the start of the second half did swing the momentum for us.”

Campbell forced 20 Hampton turnovers and scored 18 points off of them. The Camels had four players score in double digits, led by Anthony Dell’Orso with 19 points.

Although Joyner likely isn’t one for moral victories, Kyrese Mullen continued to show he is one of the better big men in the CAA. The sophomore finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds, tallying his ninth double-double of the season.

There was some visible frustration amongst the Pirates, but Wilcox said confidence isn’t an issue for a team that has dropped its first three CAA games by an average of 24 points.

“Confidence is never a problem with this team,” Wilcox said. “We know we got endless talent. The one thing everybody just keeps trying to push forward to is for it to click in March. We could do as bad as we want right now, you win a couple games in a row in March and you’re champions. So that’s kind of been the mindset of everyone. Guys have kind of gotten together on their own to talk and try to just discuss what we think could help make us better. So there’s definitely no lack of confidence. We know what we got and we’re willing to stick through it.”

Michael Sauls, michael.sauls@virginiamedia.com, (757) 803-5774