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Hampton Wins Consecutive MEAC Titles

NORFOLK, Va. – Brian Darden had a team-high 22 points, while teammate Reginald Johnson, Jr. added 21 points to lead the Hampton University men’s basketball team to its second consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in an 81-69 win over South Carolina State, on Saturday afternoon at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Hampton head coach Edward Joyner, Jr., who won his third MEAC title at Hampton, was named the tournament’s Outstanding Coach, while Johnson, Jr. and Quinton Chievous earned All-Tournament honors. Johnson, Jr. was also named the tournament’s Outstanding Performer.

The Pirates (21-10) started the game on a 4-0 run but back-to-back buckets by the Bulldogs (19-14) tied it up early. A basket by S.C. State’s Gabe McCray at the 12:59 mark in the first half broke a 17-all tie and gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.

A layup by Luka Radovic with 14 seconds left extended S.C. State’s lead to three, 39-36, but Darden knocked down a big 3-pointer four seconds later to tie the game at 39-all going into halftime.

The Bulldogs started the second half on a 10-3 run that was capped by a buzzer-beating trey from All-Tournament selection Eric Eaves at the 17:02 mark.

The game remained close until late in the period when the Pirates turned up the intensity on both sides of the ball. In the final 4:06 of the game, Hampton outscored S.C. State 14-2 to claim the conference title.

Eaves led the Bulldogs with 25 points and added five rebounds and four assists. Tashombe Riley, S.C. State’s other All-Tournament selectee, and McCray each added 10 points.

Hampton also got double-digit scoring performances from Jervon Pressley and Chievous who had 14 and 13 points, respectively.

2016 MEAC Men’s Basketball All-Tournament Team:

Reginald Johnson, Jr. (Hampton)

Quinton Chievous (Hampton)

Eric Eaves (South Carolina State)

Tashombe Riley (South Carolina State)

Jeff Short (Norfolk State)

Tournament Most Outstanding Player

Reginald Johnson, Jr. (Hampton)

Tournament Most Outstanding Coach

Edward Joyner, Jr., (Hampton)

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