HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton University men’s basketball team picked up its third straight win on Monday evening, edging past Savannah State 84-80 in the HU Convocation Center in the team’s first game since Wednesday. The Pirates improved to 5-10 overall and 2-0 in MEAC play.
Three Pirates scored in double figures, and Jermaine Marrow paced them with 25 points on 8-for-18 shooting and a 6-for-8 effort from the free throw line. The freshman, who has scored in double figures 14 times in 15 games, also had two assists and two steals. Lawrence Cooks added 16 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Charles Wilson-Fisher also had 16 points, a career high, and he grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and blocked a career-high four shots off the bench.
The Pirates shot 43.5 percent (30-for-69) from the floor – thanks in large part to a 50 percent clip in the first half. Hampton also made 10 of its 28 3-pointers (35.7 percent) and went 14-for-19 (73.7 percent) from the free throw line. Hampton held a slim 43-41 edge on the glass.
The Tigers cut the lead to one, 81-80, with 17 seconds left in regulation after a three from Troyce Manassa, before Cooks went 1-for-2 at the line eight seconds later to extend the lead – albeit ever so slightly. The Tigers missed two layups to tie the game, before Lysander Bracey clinched the win with two free throws with one second remaining.
Savannah State, the MEAC’s top scoring team coming in, jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead, before the Pirates used a 7-1 run to take a 10-6 lead at the 14:56 mark following a jumper from Trevond Barnes. Savannah State cut the lead to one on the next possession, before Hampton went on a 15-5 spurt to go up 25-14 after a Cooks three at the 10:15 mark.
A layup from AJ Astroth with 3:44 left in the half gave the Pirates their largest lead of the game at 38-24, before the Tigers closed the half on a 10-3 run. Dexter McClanahan hit a three with 30 seconds left that sent Hampton into the half with a 41-34 lead. Marrow had nine points at the break.
A Marrow trey gave the Pirates a 44-34 lead to open the second half, and the Tigers were held to a few possessions out of reach for much of the half’s opening minutes. Casey Wells cut the lead to six, 53-47, with a three with 12:42 remaining.
But the Pirates answered with an 11-3 run, taking a 64-50 lead with 9:51 remaining after a three from Cooks. The Tigers then went on an 18-7 run to cut the lead to 71-68 with 5:32 remaining. Yet Hampton answered right back, scoring seven of the next nine points to go up 78-70 after Wilson-Fisher nailed two free throws with 3:47 left. Savannah State (4-11, 1-1 MEAC) shot 41.7 percent (25-for-60) from the floor and struggled from the free throw line. The Tigers struggled mostly in the first half, shooting just 33.3 percent (11-for-33) in the opening frame. McClanahan led the Tigers with 22 points.