Monthly Archives: November 2015

HU Lady Pirates’ bowling team working towards successful season



Wesley Eggleston | Staff Writer

The Hampton Lady Pirates’ bowling season has been on a roll and prior to the start of the Thanksgiving season, they wanted to make sure that turkeys were not only going to be handed out around the dinner table.

The Lady Pirates competed in the Virginia Union Invitational on November 20-22, where a total of twelve schools were competing. The team went 9-4 in the event that ended on Sunday at Bowl America in Midlothian. On the year, the Lady Pirates are 15-14 overall and 2-6 in the MEAC. Junior Laina Rivers was the top finisher for the Lady Pirates with a 191.7 average for six games.

She matched her season-high with a 212 and recorded three of the four 200s the Lady Pirates rolled in the event. She finished fifth individually in a 70-player field.

Rivers, an interdisciplinary major from Bloomfield, Connecticut, has been a key contributor this season. When asked her keys to getting past the lane conditions that could plague her, Rivers said, “You can’t bowl to a condition. You have to learn to adjust,” Rivers said. “I have the ability to do it [bowl well], God gave me the ability to do it.”

The tournament featured several CIAA schools and was a battle to see who would gain the most total points. There was also a couple of teams outside the CIAA competing, as well.  Hampton was the only representative of the MEAC  participating. When the Lady Pirates competed on November 14-15 at MEAC Southern Division opener in Norfolk,  they won two matches and lost six.

“In preparation, typically we usually have to take a look at what surface they’re using, usually they have a Brunswick surface [and] what kind of lane pattern they are going to have. We have to duplicate that, so we get used to it,” head coach Lee Davis said before the event.

“We work a lot on our spare shooting. You convert spares , you win,” coach Davis said about knowing the keys to success in the game. “The thing about it is, is that you’re going to try and throw a good first ball, so you can get a spear [off the second ball].”  

The top talent that Hampton is going to have to focus on is Bowie State University and Virginia State. The teams are coming from various leagues, so the opponents’ bowling styles will all pose different threats in their games. In bowling, a team does not just have one opponent they are going up against. This factor means that, regardless of whether or not a team has a star shining bright for them, if the person at the bottom of the bowling rotation isn’t up to par, a team could lose.

Bowlers struggle with different shots and how they deal with them may vary. It sometimes can be something as simple as changing balls or adjusting to the lane surface to make those small adjustments.  

Freshman Lady Pirates’ bowler Diamond Cummings of Flint, Michigan said, on behalf of her strategies with her second ball, “My first ball in warm-ups, I see how my ball is reacting in the lanes.  Then after [when she is on her second], I make my adjustments.”

“If they can’t figure out the best shot to get the ball down the lane, we have to talk about the best way to attack the lane issues”, coach Davis said.  “We have some things that will plague us.  The ball is a factor.  We have to match surface with conditions.  You have to match surface, with the ball,” coach Davis said explaining all the factors that go into a particular bowling frame.

The different frames and lanes will ultimately tell the tale for the Lady Pirates heading into their next competitions. 


HU Alum makes her mark with NBC ‘Dateline’

(t howard)

(t howard)

Mion Edwards | Staff Writer

 Yolanda McCutchen is the representation of a person who seizes opportunities when they are presented and uses them for personal growth. The South Carolina native has always been interested in journalism.

 “I’ve always loved writing and grew up in a household where we subscribed to several magazines and the local newspaper.” She especially became interested in TV news because she watched it with her dad all of the time.

 McCutchen reflected on the days she spent at her Home by the Sea. She excelled as a student and built relationships with her professors.

 While at Hampton she wrote for Hampton Viewpoint, a news show produced by students that aired on local cable in Hampton. Being a member of The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) showed her a window of what her career path could be if she worked hard and made the right connections.

“The media symposiums exposed me to professionals and career options. I was able to gain experience on campus that prepared me for internships,” McCutchen said.

 “I had great professors and I became aware of the NBC News Associates program through the career services office.”

With her persistence and guidance from her mentors she landed an internship with the shows CBS News Productions, and CBS “This Morning.”

 She said, “I’ve been very fortunate in my career and have had great mentors. My network has led me to great opportunities.”  This internship allowed her to build her network for new opportunities.

A year after graduating from Hampton in 1997 as a member of OphiO IX, she obtained a position as an associate producer at ‘Dateline’ NBC.

 While at ‘Dateline,’ McCutchen produced stories, conducted on-camera interviews, performed, researched and shot hidden camera video. Her best experience at ‘Dateline’ was when she was pitching a story about a man that was convicted of murdering a baby.

 “It was discovered that there was actually no baby. The mother faked the pregnancy and lied about the murder. I pitched the story, and was one of the producers.

 It was the season premiere for ‘Dateline’ that year. After the story aired the case received more national attention for the release of the wrongly accused man. He was later released,” expressed McCutchen. Since her days at Dateline NBC, McCutchen has gained a lot of experience and knowledge along the way.

 A former professor at Howard University, McCutchen’s advice for college students who want to get ahead in the media industry is to start early and always remain professional.

 “Having a great professional reputation is important because industry circles are small. Media jobs are highly competitive therefore gain as much experience as possible. Master key skills such as writing, shooting and editing.

All media outlets are now multimedia including newspapers.

 Professional social media skills are needed as well and understanding web analytics,” said McCutchen. Currently, McCutchen is the public relations manager for the D.C. Housing Finance Agency. Hampton University instilled in her the value of networking and maintaining your network and professional reputation.

 The legacy McCutchen wants to leave is she wants people to always remember to stay positive.

 She advised, “Keeping a positive attitude, looking for the solution rather than dwelling on the problem.  Plus working in media is motivating, I still love it although I’m working in a different aspect than I started. There’s always something interesting and new.”

How an HU Alum uses his profession to give thanks

(Marshal Cusaac)

(Marshall Cusaac)

Kadidja Dosso | Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is a special time of the year in the U.S. where families, friends, and loved ones come together to bond, share their love, enjoy one another’s company, and most importantly feast. Marshall Cusaac  an alumnus of Hampton University’s class of 1985, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA is an example of this.

Cusaac only applied to Hampton University and “Thanks to prayer, confidence, and hope,” Cusaac remarked, he was accepted. He graduated from Hampton with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing. Marshall Cusaac holds an occupation in which he is able to assist communities as well as families who are in need. Cusaac currently resides in Washington, D.C. where he works for the U.S. Government Department of Housing and Community Development as a Housing Regulation Specialist.

This profession allows him to reflect upon how thankful he is for his family. “Thanksgiving to me is every time I get a chance to see my family,” Cusaac stated. 

Marshall’s favorite memories of Thanksgiving are all tied to his family’s preparation of the actual feast.

“We season, we cut, we stir, we fuss all while ‘Mom’ scolds us about how we’re preparing some of her specialties, and we still manage to have a great time and enjoy one another!”

Cusaac’s favorite meal to prepare is his famous lasagna, although he rarely prepares it. What excites him the most about it is the unique flavor and twist that he adds to lasagna.

You may be used to a plain and simply prepared pan of lasagna, but, for Marshall Cusaac, lasagna is a production. There is a series of steps that he must complete to prepare the dish and there is specific chronological order that the steps must occur in.

While at Hampton, Cusaac was a member of the Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. as well as Student Special Services, now known as Student Support Services.

Post-graduation, Cusaac was a flight attendant for a major American airline, Trans World Airlines (TWA), for 6 years. This career allowed him to travel the world and to gain exposure to a plethora of cultures.

Cusaac includes; sautéed mushrooms, sautéed spinach, pork pepperoni, ricotta cheese, feta cheese, ground turkey, a series of spices, oregano, basil, and his secret herb that adds the perfect blend of flavor that will linger on your taste buds for a week.

He learned about one of his special ingredients of adding pepperoni to the lasagna from his experience as a flight attendant.

While at Hampton, Marshall’s favorite day of the week was Fried Chicken Sunday’s. But, once a semester he skipped out on his favorite day at the cafeteria and prepared a T-bone steak in the toaster oven that he kept in his dorm room.

His creativity and resourcefulness played a pivotal role in his love for cooking.

“Food brings life to gatherings. I love when I’m able to prepare a dish with love and skill and in return I am shown appreciation that allows them to keep coming back for more.”

Cusaac gains his inspiration to cook from watching PBS, The Cooking Channel and Food Network faithfully every Saturday and continues to learn more about the world of food.

Home for the Holidays: Is bringing your significant other home for Thanksgiving moving too fast?



Alexandria Carmon | Staff Writer

After months of undergoing time consuming assignments and daunting examinations, students are starting to make their Thanksgiving arrangements. Some students plan on staying on campus, while others are choosing to go home. However, not everyone is going home alone. Some are bringing their significant others to meet their family.

While your beau may get a chance to try your grandmother’s secret gumbo recipe, there is another recipe he or she should consider. Bringing your significant other home too early, is indeed a recipe for disaster.

If he is going to be rubbing elbows with your uncle, sharing a remote with your dad, and eating out of your refrigerator, your relationship needs to be serious.

Amber Gardner, junior, journalism major, from Newport News, Virginia agrees that a couple should date for at least half a year before considering going home with each other. “If it’s been less than six months, I would say that’s way too early.”

A two-month relationship is not considered serious. If that was the case, you would be bringing a new person to Thanksgiving dinner every year, which would not only confuse your family but it will send a message to your partner that you do this with everyone you date. Thanksgiving break is only a few days.

If your relationship is not at a serious point, leave your partner here. Let them go home and enjoy their own family and food. If you must have some form of contact with them during break, Skype.

Bringing someone home is meant for your partner to meet his or her potential in-laws. However, if you and your partner have not discussed the future, it is too early for them to meet your parents.

Leondra Head, a freshman, journalism major, from Atlanta, says she would not go home with her significant other unless she considers the relationship serious. “It would bring bad vibes to your family if you haven’t known your partner that long.”

In addition, before you even consider bringing your partner home, you both should know a good amount of things about each other.

For example, if you know her parents are divorced and she is celebrating with her mom this year, you can avoid the embarrassment of asking where her dad is at the dinner table. In addition, if your partner has never seen you with braces, are you ready for them to see that embarrassing, brace-face portrait of you on top of the piano? According to blogger, Sabrina Boyd, “Bringing someone into your family means showing them your past, too.”

You need to be fully comfortable with someone first if you want your family to be comfortable around them too.

This year’s Black Friday may be set to be a year of firsts



Clark Bogan | Staff Writer

With holiday shopping becoming more versatile than ever before, this year’s “Black Friday” is going to be one for the record books. In fact, it already is.

Holiday sales generally ramp up at the beginning of November for most retailers, with holiday-oriented advertisements clogging the airways, and consumers already contemplating what gifts to give and receive for Christmas.

However, the usual expectation of Black Friday sales beginning on Black Friday have changed.

For all intents and purposes, November has turned into “Black Month”, with many retailers having their conventional holiday sales running for the duration of the month, only to reach their peak on the coveted retail holiday.

Black Friday has lost its usual glimmering luster with consumers, as even the best sales have bled into “Cyber Monday”, and even into the once-sacred Thanksgiving Day.

Wal-Mart has proved itself notorious for having the best doorbuster sales on Thanksgiving evening, beginning as early as 6:00 p.m. Upon observing the success of their tactic, its competitors like Target and Best Buy are doing the same, guaranteeing that the best sales will begin on Thanksgiving evening–nullifying the effect of Black Friday.

However, adding the temporal length of Black Friday is not the only first for 2015. Online and mobile shopping is predicted to skyrocket, with many stores encouraging consumers to use their mobile devices to find exclusive deals, or to save themselves the stress of visiting a brick-and-mortar store and do all of their shopping online.

According to Fortune, online sales increased  27 percent, reaching an astounding $1.35 billion in revenue last year.  To add to that statistic, 31 percent of all Black Friday sales were digital. In 2015, both of those numbers are expected to rise exponentially, easily reaching over $2.5 billion in revenue.

Whether it begins on November 1st, right after Thanksgiving dinner, or 4:00 a.m. on Friday morning, Black Friday is alive and well, and it will be one of the most lucrative, chaotic, and capitalistic-driven days ever recorded.

Ways to diversify your Thanksgiving meal



Sloane Mebane | Lifestyle Editor

Thanksgiving is the time for family togetherness, thankfulness and delicious food. While most tables will have different variations of turkey, ham and roast beef, there are many Americans that have chosen an alternative Thanksgiving menu.

With the rise in vegetarianism, one particular healthy dinner trend that is sure to be popular this holiday season is a veggie themed Thanksgiving meal. While this type of holiday menu may seem contrary to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, there are many ways to ensure that your meal still has an authentic feel.

When asked about the necessities for an authentic Thanksgiving, Latrice Montgomery, a sophomore biology major from Chicago listed all the staples. “Well, you have to have turkey. I love stuffing and roast beef with gravy, that’s delicious. Sweet potato with roasted marshmallows. You have to get some greens in there too.”

One great seasonal ingredient that can help to liven up your veggie thanksgiving is squash. Whether in a casserole, bread pudding, soup or a simple roast this fall delicacy is sure to seduce taste buds while causing little damage to your waist line. One especially great squash is the Acorn squash.

This large squash can be used as mini bowls if split in half. With stuffing’s like apples, chestnuts and leeks, as mentioned on Food and Wine, this holiday treat is sure to be one to remember.

Another great vegetarian ingredient is the mushroom. This ingredient surprisingly comes in a variety of flavors and sizes from white to oyster to the large Portobello mushroom. What is so amazing about the mushroom is that it can pick up the flavor of whatever spice it is surrounded by.

One great recipe that utilizes this potent ingredient in a unique way, the mushroom tart, was featured on Martha Stewart’s website.

The mushroom tart can be made using store bought pastry puff with a filling that includes sautéed white mushrooms, spinach, onions and goat cheese sprinkled on top.

While mushrooms and squash are great ways to “vegify” your holiday meal, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the traditional turkey main dish. If turkey is your favorite part of the thanksgiving meal then fear not, there are many veggie and vegan turkey substitutes available to replace this important holiday ingredient.

VegeUSA has a whole turkey look-a-like that can provide the same holiday feel while saving many turkey lives. Another great substitute is Gardein’s Savory Stuffed Turk’y. A delicious treat available in the frozen section, this ready to go turkey meal is a great replacement for the traditional turkey main dish.

Even with a vegetarian thanksgiving, you will not lose out on the joys of the holiday season. For Jasmin Kennedy, a senior biology major from Thomasville, North Carolina Thanksgiving is all about family. “I like getting together with my family the week of Thanksgiving. As we all prep the food for the actual day, it gives me a chance to catch up with everyone and remember why I’m so thankful to have such a great family.”

Whether you want to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle, create a healthier Thanksgiving meal or simply try something new, a veggie thanksgiving meal is an easy to do alternative to the traditional holiday dinner with unique ingredients and plenty of opportunities for family togetherness.  

Erykah Badu, Centric and BET gear up for 2015 Soul Train Awards



Sena Adjei | Staff Writer

Next Sunday, Centric and BET will air their twenty-eighth showing of the Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas, celebrating musical innovation, exhibition, and excellence within the black community. The Soul Train awards have been one of the most prolific examples of a consolidated and well established commemoration of the many accomplishments and achievements of African-American creators and influencers.

It’s reach and impact have only grown each year as more artists new and old have been added to the canon of winners and performers that have graced the award’s stage.

This year especially, there are expected a procession of some of both the most promising young musicians building their discographies and artistic clout, as well as some of the most seminal and relevant tastemakers within the music industry to date; and from the way it seems, the showing did not disappoint.

With celebrated R&B singer, Erykah Badu as the master of ceremonies (with her many eccentricities in tow), live performances by hitmakers and musical staples like R.Kelly, Bobby Brown, Babyface and Tevin Campbell, as well as newly surfacing and cementing talents such as Jeremih and Tank, the 2015 Soul Train awards truly are sure to be something to behold from beginning to end.

The individual nominees of this year’s awards spanned from budding Detroit MC Dej Loaf, to Pop/R&B vocalist Janelle Monae, and innumerable iconic pieces of both videography and choreography will be pit against one another, in what is revealing itself to be an incredibly eclectic group of individuals collected for the celebration and appreciation of music and performance.

The awards will be aired on the BET network at 8 PM Central time and whether the country will watch the awards surpass or fall short of the towering expectations laid out for them, the night will be one to remember.

Staying slim during the Thanksgiving holiday



Meshach Roberts | Staff Writer

College students often fear gaining the “freshman 15,” but Thanksgiving might just be the culprit of those extra few pounds. According to Forbes, during the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner a person eats about 3000 calories, which is over a third more than the recommended daily calorie intake for the average woman. This does not include eating breakfast on that day or a late night turkey snack. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy great food while staying healthy.

After weary nights of studying and eating ramen noodles, most students appreciate a much needed break. Shauntia Ennels, a first-year, five-year MBA major from Glen Burnie, Maryland, stated “I’m excited to go home and spend time with my family. It’s a holiday and holidays are supposed to be spent with family not spent doing homework.” Thanksgiving is a time where many students are finally able to go back home and be reunited with their family.

Students are excited to have a home cooked meal, one of the luxuries missed during the three months away. However, there are ways to enjoy it while not overindulging. A common practice in many households is to fast until the food is prepared. “I use to, but when I got older I started to eat at least a bowl of cereal in the morning because I didn’t feel like it was necessary to starve just for a meal,” said Tandeka Nunn, a junior sociology major, from Honolulu, Hawaii about fasting before the Thanksgiving meal was ready. This method is one of the worst things one can do. Going to a feast very hungry will cause one to eat considerably more food.

Exercise of course is very important when it comes down to burning calories. Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association, told WebMD, “’Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.” Forming a habit of jogging in the morning could be the difference between gaining or losing that one or two pounds during the holidays.

Even chewing has a large impact on health during the holidays. According to Medical News Today, “the longer you spend chewing the fewer calories you will be consuming per minute. You will feel full more rapidly, compared to gulping everything down quickly.” Savoring food by chewing it slower doesn’t only make the food taste better but has health benefits.

After working hard during spring and summer to get the perfect beach body the post-holidays serves to many as a reminder or an alert to get back in shape and start up those New Year’s Resolutions again. Many make goals like eating healthier or going to the gym. If these steps are taken, a New Year’s weight loss goal might be easier than expected.

Hampton men’s basketball routed by William & Mary; Here are five things they could have looked for



Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

“Home is where the heart is” and there’s no question that the Hampton Pirates men’s basketball team were missing that by the time they took the floor November 25. 

After winning their first home game of the season against Appalachian State, 82-61, on November 20, the Pirates began their nine game road trip the day before Thanksgiving when they take on William & Mary.

The trip will carry into 2016 when they will return to their “Home by the Sea” on January 3 to play Princeton.

This game marked the first time in two years that Hampton and William & Mary met on the hardwood (the Pirates won their last matchup, 77-69, in their 2013-14 home opener). Only three Hampton players (Brian Darden, Lawrence Cooks and Dionte Adams) remain from that team, who finished that season 18-13.

Darden, who is averaging 14 ppg with 2 three pointers a game this season, led the Pirates that game with 18 points (4/5 from downtown) and five rebounds.

Fresh off their historic run to the NCAA Tournament last tournament, the Pirates have started this season with a solid 2-1 record and November 25 will be an early season statement game for the Pirates.

The Tribe, who lost all-time leading scorer Marcus Thornton to graduation, have relied heavily on the only four players who remain from that 2013 matchup and it has paid off.The team is off to an efficient 3-1 start and are ranked #4 in scoring offense with 76.5 points a game and #1 in scoring defense, holding teams to only 64 points a game.

The Pirates, under the guidance of head coach Edward Joyner, are hoping to add “an above .500 record” to their list of things to be thankful for this holiday season and, in order to do so, there are keys they must follow. The Tribe ended up beating the Pirates, 86-67 pushing Hampton to a 2-2 record so far.

Here are five of them that the Pirates and Hampton Nation should pay the most attention to:

#1. The Chievous Effect

Since forward Quinton Chievous joined the Pirates in the 2014-15 season, the team has gone 19-19. A son of a former NBA player, Chievous has brought an all-star caliber style of play to this team. He is currently dominating the MEAC in rebounding, averaging 14.3 rebounds a game. He is doing so while also being ranked third in field goal pct. (62%), making 18 of his 29 attempts. His numbers are large reason for why the Pirates are ranked second in both offensive and defensive rebounds; third in field goal pct. and fourth in scoring offense. 

#2. The Four “Tribesmen”

Remember these names. Terry Tarpey, Daniel Dixon, Sean Sheldon, and Omar Prewitt. These four undergraduates are the last four that remain from the 2013-14 team and have The Tribe overachieving four games into their season. All four players rank in the top-30 in scoring in the MEAC and each have made their own mark throughout the conference. Tarpey is ranked eighth in rebounds (7.3) and first in steals (3.3), Sheldon is first in field goal pct. (73%) and Dixon is tenth in three point pct. (43%).

#3. Live and Die from Behind the Line

While they are not considered “high percentage shots”, the three pointer can put a nail in any opponents’ coffin when made at the right time. Both teams are capable of providing that moment. William & Mary are ranked third in the CAA from downtown and Hampton is ranked fourth in the MEAC. Senior guard Brian Darden is averaging 2.3 makes from long range a game and he will be looked at as a prime target. Both teams also defend the three point line well, with The Tribe ranked first and Hampton ranked ninth in defensive pct.

#4. “Block” Party

If you asked the Pirates’ first three opponents, they would, undoubtedly, tell you that the paint belongs to 6-8 senior center Jervon Pressley. The big man is averaging three blocks a game and has turned this team into a mean, blocking machine. The Pirates are ranked first in the MEAC with five blocks a game.

#5. Efficiency around the rim

It’s very possible to make a good living from within 20 feet on the floor. While both teams have had their three point barrages, they both understand that the mid-range is crucial. The Tribe are averaging 49% from the field, good enough for second in the CAA, and the Pirates come in at #2 in the MEAC with 45.2%. 


Lady Pirates prepared for the Texas Longhorns; Here is a rundown



Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

Unlike the men, the Lady Pirates have yet to host a single opponent on their home floor this season. Their first home game is scheduled to take place on November 29 against James Madison at 5 p.m.

Hampton has played a roulette wheel of talented teams from conferences throughout the country to start the season away from the Convocation Center. Unfortunately, the team has not been able to find their groove and have lost their first four games, being outscored 225-327.

The Lady Pirates’ last opponent on their grueling five game road trip was the Texas Longhorns in a game that was broadcasted nationally on the Longhorn Network at 7 p.m. CT on the day before Thanksgiving. The Longhorns ended up defeating the Pirates, 79-52. 

During his seven year tenure, head coach David Six is 6-17 all-time against teams from the Power Five Conferences (ACC, Big-12, Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten).

Hampton Nation will have to watch from this contest from the sidelines but that does not mean they can’t be prepared. Here are five keys that the Lady Pirates had to pay attention to if they wanted to have success and bring more than just food to the dinner table:

1. Imani Boyette

Despite only scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds in Texas’ 70-47 win against Rice University on November 20, the 6-7 center is still a force to be reckoned with. In her first two games, Boyette scored a combined 36 points and grabbed a total of 24 rebounds. The Los Angeles native is currently ranked fifth in rebounds (9.3) and field goal pct. (67%); tenth in steals (2.3) and in the top-20 in scoring (13.3 ppg) in the Big-12 conference. The 2014-15 Big 12 Female Sportsperson of the Year is also averaging two blocks a game. Boyette was also named to the All-Big 12 First team last season after averaging 10 points and seven rebounds.

2. Which duo will outduel the other?

Boyette and sophomore guard Brooke McCarty, who is tied for ninth amongst scorers in their conference (16 ppg), have formed a strong inside-outside duo this season. McCarty was named to All-Freshman team last season and entered the 2015-16 season as a starter after starting 15 games last season. The Texas twosome will have to battle the Hampton tandem of junior guard Malia Tate-Defreitas and 6-2 sophomore center Kaylah Lupoe. Tate-Defreitas was named the MEAC Player of the Year last season after leading the conference in scoring with 21.3 ppg.

Her average also made her 14th in the nation in that category. Currently, she’s averaging 19.3 ppg. Lupoe, who started five times last season, has started each game and has already improved her stats, averaging 10 points and five rebounds. The game could be decided by which pair plays the best.

3. Defensive Juggernaut

Texas has the top scoring defense in their conference, holding teams to an average of 44.3 ppg. They also are ranked #1 in field pct. on the defensive end, resulting in teams shooting a dismal 29% from the field. Hampton, who has been allowing teams to shoot 49% from the field, will have to rely on their three point shooting. Currently, Texas’ opponents are averaging 30% from beyond the arc and Hampton is shooting 31% from long range.

4. Every Rebound Matters

Being able to secure a rebound could be the difference between leading a game by two points or losing by two points. Texas has done an excellent job on the boards, so far, and are averaging 47 rebounds a game, with their highest rebounder being Boyette. Hampton is averaging 34 rebounds a game, with the 5-8 Tate-Defreitas leading the team with an average of 6.5. The Lady Pirates will need Lupoe and 6-0 senior guard Ryan Jordan to help Tate-Defreitas crash the boards and make their presence known on Texas’ floor.

5. Stealing a Road Victory

“Protection” is perhaps the most critical word used in sports. You have to protect yourself, your team, your lead and your floor at all times but both Texas and Hampton have found a way to exploit their opponents. Both teams rank in the Top-5 in steals in their conferences (Texas has 35, HU has 31) and a key steal could change the momentum at any time. Hampton’s hands will have to be quick and if they are willing to scrap, they could steal a massive victory on the road.