HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton University men’s basketball team needed a second-half comeback Monday night against Bethune-Cookman, but that’s exactly what the Pirates got as they stormed back to beat the Wildcats 75-66 at the HU Convocation Center.
The Pirates (14-15, 11-4 MEAC) have won nine of their last 11 games and three in a row.
Freshman guard Deron Powers (Williamsburg, Va.) led the Pirates with 17 points, while sophomore center Emmanuel Okoroba (Garland, Texas) and senior guard Wesley Dunning (Washington, D.C.) each added 11 points.
B-CU cut Hampton’s lead to 62-61 with 5:21 to play on an Adrian Coleman layup, before the Pirates extended that lead to 65-61 after a pair of Powers free throws with 4:36 remaining.
The Wildcats then made it a one-possession game with 4:21 left, but freshman guard Dwight Meikle (Baltimore, Md.) hit two free throws with 2:17 to go to give the Pirates a 67-63 lead. Senior guard Aaron Austin (Newport News, Va.) then hit two free throws with 0:00 left to put Hampton up 69-63.
Dunning gave Hampton a 71-63 lead with 1:31 left with a pair of free throws, then freshman guard Ke’Ron Brown (Savannah, Ga.) hit a free throw with 1:09 left to put Hampton up 72-63.
As the Pirates continued hitting free throws in the closing minutes, the Wildcats went cold from the floor; B-CU went nearly five minutes between field goals, before a 3-pointer from Ricky Johnson cut Hampton’s lead to 73-66 with 48 seconds left.
Powers put the game away with 27 seconds left, hitting two free throws to put Hampton up 75-66.
The Pirates led 9-8 after a Powers layup with 15:15 left in the first half, before a 6-2 Bethune-Cookman run gave the Wildcats a 14-11 lead with 12:37 left in the half after a layup from Coleman. Hampton answered with a 6-2 run of its own, taking a 17-16 lead after a layup from Austin at the 10:36 mark.
The Wildcats went on an 8-2 run to take a 24-19 lead with 7:13 left in the half after an Alex Smith layup, then led 30-25 after a jumper from Allen Dempster with 5:13 left in the half. Four straight Hampton points – including a behind-the-back dunk from Maxwell – cut the lead to 30-29 at the 4:21 mark.
B-CU closed the half on an 8-3 run to take a 38-32 lead into the half.
The Wildcats opened the second half on a 7-2 run, taking a 45-34 lead on a Smith layup with 17:14 remaining. Brown stopped the run with a pair of free throws at the 16:55 mark, cutting the lead to 45-36.
Those free throws kicked off a 7-2 Pirates run, as Powers hit a 3-pointer to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 47-41 with 15:16 left to play.
After the Wildcats took a 49-41 lead on a Dempster layup with 14:44 left, the Pirates scored seven unanswered points, cutting that lead to 49-48 after Dunning nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 11:58 to play.
Dunning then gave the Pirates a 50-49 lead with a putback with 11:15 left.
Javoris Bryant stopped the run with a jumper with 10:46 to go to give B-CU a 51-50 lead, but Powers gave the lead right back to the Pirates with a layup off the glass with 10:19 to play.
Junior guard Ramon Mercado (Hollywood, Fla.) then hit a trey with 9:51 left to put the Pirates up 55-51.
All told, since B-CU took a 49-41 lead, the Pirates went on a 16-4 run, taking a 57-53 lead with 9:11 to play after a Dunning layup.
The Pirates shot 44.2 percent (23-for-52) from the floor and made five of their 15 3-pointers. Hampton was also 24-for-37 (64.9 percent) from the free throw line. The Pirates scored 18 points off of 16 B-CU turnovers.
Both teams pulled down 39 rebounds.
B-CU (12-18, 7-8 MEAC) shot 37.7 percent (23-for-61) from the floor, but made just three of its 16 3-pointers (18.8 percent). The Wildcats also went 17-for-24 (70.8 percent) from the charity stripe.
Coleman led B-CU with 15 points.