SPARTANBURG, S.C. (HamptonPirates.com) – Senior Davion Warren scored a career-high 34 points and hit two free throws with six seconds left as Hampton held off USC Upstate 69-68 to start a Big South series on Thursday night.
Hampton (6-8, 5-4) opened the game red hot hitting over 70% early from the floor jumping out to a 22-9 lead off a Chris Shelton 3-pointer just under 13 minutes left in the half. That advantage grew to 31-15 as Warren hit a driving layup at the 8:43 mark.
USC Upstate kept hanging around and trimmed the lead to 40-33 on a Josh Aldrich 3-pointer just before the halftime horn.
In the second half, Hampton doubled up the advantage again taking a 53-39 lead on a Shelton layup with 15:25 on the clock. The Spartans went on a 21-8 run to cut the lead down to 61-60 as Jatavyous Watson scored with 4:49 left.
Hampton answered with a pair of Warren jumpers and a driving layup from Russell Dean to pus hthe advantage back to 67-60 at the 2:40 mark. Following a jumper by Tommy Bruner and a 3-pointer by Dalvin White to bring the hosts to 67-65 with 57 seconds left, Warren broke his career high with the two free throws to lead 69-65 with six seconds. White hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds and the Spartans forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass, but the last second shot hit the side of the backboard.
Warren was joined in double figures by Shelton with 13 points, while Dajour Dickens just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
The same two teams will tangle Friday night at 6 pm in Spartanburg, S.C.