Top-seeded Hampton escapes MEAC Tournament opener with 75-71 win over FAMU

NORFOLK, Va. - Senior Malique Trent-Street scored 11 of his 22 points to start the second half as top-seeded Hampton held off a late charge by Florida A&M for a 75-71 win on Wednesday night at the Norfolk Scope.

Malique Trent-Street.

With the win, Hampton (18-14) advances to a Friday night 6pm semifinal against the winner of Thursday night’s Norfolk State-North Carolina A&T State matchup.  The final score was the exact same as the first meeting at Hampton on Jan. 27 in a FAMU win.

Hampton opened the game strong with the first eight points as a pair of Trevond Barnes free throws gave the Pirates an 8-0 lead at the 16:25 mark.  Florida A&M quickly responded with six straight to get within 8-6 on a Marcus Barham layup with 14:54 left.

The Pirates found a stride and went on a 26-10 burst to lead 34-16 on a Kalin Fisher layup with exactly four minutes left.  FAMU outscored Hampton 11-2 to close the half down 36-27 on a pair of Nasir Core free throws.

Trent-Street caught his shooting stroke in the second half draining three triples and a layup in the first 2:29.  His third triple was part of a 15-5 run for Hampton as Akim Mitchell drained a 3-pointer for a 51-36 lead with 15:29 left.

Hampton had trouble containing Desmond Williams in the second half who went for 24 of his game-high 27 points.  His free throws with 4:26 left brought the Rattlers to 67-65, but that turned out to be his final points of the night.

A pair of Marcus Barham free throws and a layup by Elijah Mayes with 36 seconds pulled the Rattlers to within 72-71. Jermaine Marrow went 3-for-4 in the final 28 seconds to provide the final margin.

Joining Trent-Street in double figures was Marrow who was one assist shy of a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.  Mitchell had 12 points and six boards, while Charles Wilson-Fisher had 12 points and seven boards.