NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – A career night from senior Devante Carter lifted the Norfolk State men’s basketball team to a 76-64 win over Hampton on Monday night in the Battle of the Bay at Joseph Echols Hall.
Carter finished with a career-high 29 points after hitting 11-of-13 from the floor. He nearly tallied a triple-double with nine rebounds and eight assists as NSU pulled away at the end.
The Spartans improved to 3-1 on the year after shooting 56 percent from the floor and holding Hampton (1-1) to 34 percent shooting, less than 27 percent in the deciding second half.
“Devante had to shoulder a lot of the load, and he stepped up big,” said head coach Robert Jones. “But we do have some depth, and it showed tonight. It was a total team effort.”
The game featured 10 lead changes and saw NSU hold the edge on the boards, 42-31. The Spartans outscored the Pirates by 11 in the second half. Aside from Carter, the only other player in double figures for NSU was sophomore Daryl Anderson with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. He continued his hot start to the year from beyond the arc, connecting on 3-of-4 attempts.
Hampton led for more than 12 minutes in the first half, only to see its advantage disappear shortly before halftime. The Pirates took the lead back early in the second half, but a layup from senior Kashaun Hicks with more than nine minutes to go in the game gave the Spartans the lead for good.
NSU had the early 11-7 advantage after Anderson and senior J.J. Matthews converted back-to-back baskets. A 14-4 run by Hampton gave the Pirates their largest lead of the half, 21-15, with a little more than eight minutes to go.
The Spartans chipped away, as Anderson’s layup got them to within one a few minutes later. The teams traded baskets until NSU scored seven straight for the lead on a short jumper from Matthews, a hook shot from junior Chris Ford and then a trey from sophomore Tyrese Jenkins with 29 seconds on the clock.
Hampton’s Edward Oliver-Hampton had a putback jumper with time ticking down to make it 38-37 in favor of the Spartans going into the break. He paced the Pirates with 21 points and 11 rebounds on the night.
The NSU advantage was short lived early in the second half. A layup from Oliver-Hampton and a 3-pointer from Chris Shelton put the Pirates in the lead, where they stayed until senior Kyonze Chavis’ 3-pointer was followed by a bucket from Carter for a 52-50 Spartan edge.
Hampton tied it up twice, the last time with a little more than 10 minutes to go in the game. Carter took over from there, scoring 14 points in the last eight and a half minutes of the game, several of those on drives to the basket through traffic. He ultimately topped his previous career high of 19 points set last year against Delaware State.
Thanks to that big rebounding edge, NSU outscored Hampton 38-20 in points in the paint. Matthews (nine points) and Chavis and Ford (eight points each) also contributed on the offensive end.
Shelton chipped in with 16 points for Hampton, thanks in part to five 3-pointers. Davion Warren added 10 points, and Russell Dean reached double figures in assists with 10.
The home team has now won three straight games in the series.