Nazim Trammell | Staff Writer
Led by 6’ freshman point guard Jermaine Marrow with 23 points and a career-high 10 assists, the Hampton Pirates overcame a second half surge by the Bison of Howard University en route to a 75-61 win at home Saturday night. The win over their archrival was the Pirates’ fifth straight as they improved their in-conference record to 8-3.
The game was a solid staple win for this young Hampton team, who is looking to finish out its season strong with five remaining games left in the regular season. “Playing hard and locking guys up on defense is the key, nothing more nothing less,” said 6’4 freshman guard Lysander Bracey, who contributed 8 points in the win (2-3 3PT), regarding the team’s recent success.
Marrow, who shot an efficient 11 of 12 shooting from the free throw line, dropped a number of impressive dimes throughout the contest including a gorgeous spin move and dump off to junior forward Charles Wilson-Fisher for a thunderous dunk. Howard, who was led by 6’4 junior guard James Miller with 20 points (8-17 FG), came up short but were able to stay in the contest for the majority of the game with Hampton only down by six at the half.
The Bison trailed 30-36 at the half but made a 13-4 run early in the second half and actually led 43-40 after back-to-back Miller layups. The momentum, however, shifted back to the Pirates after a few assists from Marrow to Wilson-Fisher and graduate student forward A.J Astroth that sparked a run by Hampton putting them back in the lead, 60-55. This five point cushion and a final 15-6 run proved to be all the Pirates needed as Howard couldn’t cut the deficit lower than six the rest of the game.
Many HBCUs have school rivalries but none are as fierce and competitive as the one between Howard and Hampton. Regardless of location, weather, the team’s record or if it’s football or basketball, you can always expect a big turnout of students and alumni from both Universities.
Last year, Howard played a very talented Hampton squad closely but the Pirates pulled out wins in both nail biters, 68-65 in Washington. D.C. on February 8 and 68-67 at home 19 days later. Guard James Daniel III of Howard University, who is currently on the IR list, put up a 20 point and a 35 point performance, respectively, in the games. Danel lead the nation in scoring last season, as well.
The Pirates’ next outing will be in sunny Daytona Beach, Florida on February 18 for a showdown with the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (5-19, 2-8 in MEAC). Hopefully, for Hampton Nation, the Pirates can continue their winning ways and show fans more of the effort they have shown the last few games.
With the MEAC and NCAA Division I Tournaments rapidly approaching, supporters will have to keep showing up and out as one of the craziest times in sports lies ahead of us.