Hornets frustrated in overtime loss to Hampton


Delaware State News photos/Marc Clery

DOVER — Keith Walker began to list the many chances Delaware State had to win this game and the list seemed like it would never end.

There was the 10-point lead the Hornets blew in the final seven minutes.

There were the two free throws DSU missed with 1.2 seconds left in the second half with the score tied.

Then there was the overtime period.

Delaware State was left to rue all of these missed opportunities as the Hornets fell 85-77 in overtime to Hampton in a MEAC men’s basketball contest on Saturday evening. The Hornets were searching for their third consecutive MEAC victory.

“If I was on the other end of this I would think I would be very lucky to walk away with the win,” Walker, DSU’s coach, said. “We should have won this game. Things just didn’t fall our way at the end. We should have won the game in regulation. There’s no probably, we should have won it.”

It’s the fourth win in a row over DSU for Hampton, the two-time defending MEAC Tournament champions. The Pirates remained unbeaten in the conference at 3-0 while DelState dropped to 2-1 in MEAC play.

Delaware State looked to be running away with this one when it lead 58-48 with 7:22 remaining. Then the Pirates went on a 14-0 run to take the lead in the final minutes.

The Hornets tied it with under a minute to go when Artem Tavakalyn and Devin Morgan buried back-to-back three-pointers. Delaware State forced a turnover on the next possession before Tavakalyn was fouled on a layup attempt with 1.2 seconds left.

He missed the first free throw and Hampton called timeout before the second attempt. Tavakalyn’s second effort rimmed out, sending the game to overtime.

The two teams traded baskets in overtime until Hampton Lysander Bracey’s converted one of his five three-pointers for a three-point lead. Morgan rushed a three-point attempt on the next possession and Hampton kept scoring to put the Hornets away.

After the game, Morgan took responsibility for why DelState could not keep up with the Pirates in overtime.

“I personally took a bad shot when we were down by three,” he said. “I should have tried to get to the rack like we did on previous possessions.”

Hampton converted all 11 of its free throw attempts in overtime.

DSU was led by Morgan who netted 18 points while DeAndre Haywood scored 16. For a team hoping to compete for the MEAC title, the loss hurt but showed the Hornets they can compete with the top teams in the conference.

“We lost the game so it’s a missed opportunity but that’s a well-coach team over there,” Morgan said. “Hampton always gives us their best shot every time we play. But seeing we could beat that team, we believe we’re one of the best teams in the conference as well. We’re going to take this game and build on it.”

Freshman Kobe Gantz scored 15 points for DSU, all in the second half after not seeing a minute of game action in the first half. Gantz scored seven straight points for the Hornets during their run which pushed their lead to double-digits.

But that’s when Hampton responded with its 14-0 run and the Hornets went cold from the field.

“We started playing not to lose rather than to try to win,” Walker said.

Hampton’s Jermaine Marrow was the game’s top scorer with 23 points. Marrow and Bracey, who had 19 points, combined to go 9-of-12 from beyond the arc.

The closest DSU got in the final minute of overtime was after a layup and free throw by Gantz to make it a 79-77 game. But Hampton hit a pair of free throws, DSU missed a layup on the other end and the Pirates ended the game with more made free throws.

“There’s a lot of positives we can take from this and there’s a lot of negatives that we can learn from,” Walker said. “That’s what we plan on doing.”

WOMEN, Hampton 83, Delaware State 52: After a slow start, Hampton erupted with a 26-4 second quarter to score an 83-52 win over Delaware State on Saturday afternoon.

The Pirates had 26 steals to force 41 Delaware State turnovers and converted those into 35 points.

The Hornets were led by NaJai Pollard’s 17 points and seven rebounds. Pollard was the only Hornet in double-digits.

Delaware State fell to 0-3 in the MEAC and 1-15 overall.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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