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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Late-game heroics lead to Hampton CAA first round win

Kyrese Mullen’s layup with six seconds left in the game lifted Hampton to a 56-55 win11 Elon in the opening round of the Colonial Athletic Association Conference tournament.

The Pirates led the way for the balance of the first half, building their advantage to as much as 14 points on a Jordan Nesbitt converted a three-point play that made the score 34-20 late in the first half.

An Elon 5-0 spurt allowed the Phoenix to trim the lead to single digits at 34-25 right as the first half ended.

Hampton quickly built the lead back to double figures early in the second half, taking a 40-27 lead on a pair of Ja’Von Benson free throws at the 17:51 mark. Aided by a Hampton offense that shot just 9 of 29 in the second half, the Phoenix would slowly trim the deficit, eventually taking the lead at 52-51 on Sherry’s layup with 4:16 left in the contest.

Jerry Deng’s three-pointer put Hampton back in front 54-52 and ended a 3:33 Hampton scoring drought.

TK Simpkins’ three-pointer put Elon back in front 55-54 with just 25 seconds remaining. Sam Sherry turned away Hampton’s initial game-winning attempt when they blocked Kyrese Mullen’s layup attempt.

On the subsequent inbounds play, with just six seconds, Ford Cooper Jr. was found for the go-ahead score, which put the Pirates up with six seconds remaining. Issac Harrell’s three-point attempt was no good, preserving the win and Hampton’s advancement to the next round.

Jerry Deng led the way for Hampton, scoring 16 points on 6 of 12 from the floor. Ja’Von Benson was the other Pirate in double figures.

In a losing effort, TK Simpkins paced two double-figure scorers with 19 points. Sam Sherry added 14 points.

Hampton will face Delaware in the CAA quarterfinals.


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