Justin Whitner | Staff Writer
The Hampton Pirates’ home games have gone extremely well for the Pirates as of late.
Jermaine Marrow and Lysander Bracey led Hampton with fantastic performances in back to back games. When the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats came to visit Hampton on January 29th, they entered the Convocation Center with a better record. Jermaine Marrow did not let that phase him, though. Marrow put up his best performance of the year thus far. He scored a career high 35 points, recorded 10 rebounds and was one assist shy of a triple double.
The game was clearly coming to him with ease, as he scored 10 of Hampton’s first 14 points. His point production pushed the Pirates to early success and the team never looked back, winning 80-69.
Two days later, another guard had an outstanding performance. Lysander Bracey carried the Pirates against Coppin State. In the beginning of the game, he struggled to find his shot, however the second half was completely different. Bracey hit multiple threes while scoring 22 points in the second half. He proved to be the “it factor” of the game, even knocking down three clutch free throws to force overtime.
In the OT period, he continued his success, knocking down two more. Hampton led by as much as 14 points before ending the game with a win.
Unfortunately, their winning streak did not carry over when they began their road trip of three games. The Pirates lost a game to North Carolina A&T, who are now sitting a half game back from the top of the MEAC with a conference record of 6-2. They now have eight games left in the regular season, and if there was ever a time to make a run for a better seed in the MEAC tournament, the time is now.
In previous years, Hampton has won two of the last three conference championships. The last two years have been a struggle for the program, which has yet to recover from the 2016 class of seniors departing.
“I think that the team will be successful with time” says Malcolm Heartwell, a fellow Hampton student. “The year got off to a rough start and it’s clearly been hard for them to recover, but if they find their rhythm before the tournament, the sky is the limit.”
Indeed, making a run would be a difficult task for the Pirates, but it is not impossible. With few games left, it’s time for maximum effort.