Hampton has strong mid-major resume
HUNTINGTON — Hampton University has 171 victories and seven postseason appearances in 10 seasons playing for head coach Edward “Buck” Joyner Jr.
Hampton brings its mid-major resume to Cam Henderson Center for a 7 p.m. Tuesday matchup with the Marshall Thundering Herd in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament men’s basketball semifinals. Hampton (18-16) moved through the 26-team CIT with victories at home in Hampton, Virginia, against St. Francis (N.Y.), 81-72, and Charleston Southern, 73-67, before going on the road Thursday and winning at NJIT, 82-70.
Marshall (21-14) is top-seeded and playing at home throughout the CIT. The Herd has wins against IUPUI, 78-73, and Presbyterian, 83-66.
The final quarterfinal game Friday night to set the semifinals is Cal State Bakersfield (18-15) at Green Bay (19-16). Semifinal winners will meet for the championship Thursday, April 4.
Hampton joined the Big South Conference this season after being part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference since 1991. Joyner’s teams made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011, 2015 and 2016; went to the College Basketball Invitational in 2014 and 2017; and were a National Invitation Tournament entry in 2018.
A 15-point halftime lead at NJIT in Newark, New Jersey, slipped to three points on eight occasions, the last time on Donovan Greer’s 3-point shot for the Highlanders (22-13) with 58 seconds left. The Pirates are one of the nation’s best free throw shooting clubs at 78.6 percent and went 6 for 6 from there and 8 for 8 in the final 1:42.
The Pirates had all five starting players with double-figure points, led by Jermaine Marrow, a 6-foot junior guard, with 22. Marrow leads Hampton’s season statistics with 24.7 points per game with 37.1 percent 3-point shooting and 81.1 percent accuracy at the foul line.
Greg Heckstall (6-6 junior), Trevond Barnes (6-9 senior) and Akim Mitchell (6-6 senior) all recorded double-doubles. Heckstall had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Barnes added 13 points with 12 rebounds and Mitchell followed with 10 points and snagged 10 rebounds. Kalin Fisher (6-2 senior) scored 16.
Hampton is shooting 43.4 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent on 3s after connecting on only three of 17 against NJIT.
Marshall players had three days off after beating Presbyterian and resume practice Saturday.
HAMPTON (18-16) at MARSHALL (21-14)
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Cam Henderson Center, Huntington
Radio: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM, WMUL 88.1-FM