Sophomore guard Deron Powers scored 20 points to help Hampton conclude the regular season with an 89-71 victory over North Carolina A&T on Thursday at the Hampton Convocation Center in Hampton, Va.
Powers led four players who scored in double figures for Hampton (18-11, 13-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), which has won seven in a row and 10 of 11. Sophomore guards Brian Darden and Dwight Meikle scored 13 points apiece while senior forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Richaud Pack scored 14 points to lead North Carolina A&T (9-22, 5-11), which has lost six of its last seven.
The first half featured nine ties and 14 lead changes. Darden made three 3-pointers in a span of 1:09 to give Hampton a 17-15 lead with 12:27 to play in the opening period, but North Carolina A&T tied the game on a jumper by freshman forward Khary Doby with 12:05 to go.
Neither team led by more than four points until sophomore guard Breon Key made a 3-pointer to give Hampton a 42-37 lead with 2:13 to go. A dunk by Maxwell with 18 seconds left gave the Pirates a 45-40 lead at the break.
The Aggies cut the deficit to two early in the second half, but then the Pirates pulled away. They stretched the lead to 12 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Ramon Mercado and went up by 14 on two free throws by Meikle with 13:49 to go.
The Aggies briefly cut the deficit to nine moments later, but the Pirates responded with an 18-3 run to take a 24-point lead with 4:20 remaining.
Both teams will now prepare for the MEAC tournament, which will be held March 10-15 at Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va. Hampton will receive a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed.
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