As rivalry games go, it’s likely to go down as one of the most memorable in a storied series.
Not that Norfolk State will ever want to relive it.
Najee Garvin scored 17 points and Russell “Deuce” Dean hit an awkward 3-pointer at the final horn Saturday to lead Hampton to a thrilling 58-57 win over the Spartans at the HU Convocation Center.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for NSU (9-2), which was off to its best start as a Division I program.
The result gave Pirates coach Buck Joyner his 200th career victory, and it couldn’t have come in more dramatic or stunning fashion.
After NSU’s Cahiem Brown missed the second half of a double-bonus at the other end, Dean collected an outlet pass from Garvin near midcourt. Dean dribbled through traffic to the left wing and, with two defenders draped on him, jumped, double-clutched and launched a one-handed shot that somehow found the net.
Joe Bryant scored 15 points for the Spartans, who trailed 47-37 before using a 10-2 spurt to make things competitive.
The teams swapped leads four times in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
It didn’t help that NSU shot 34.5% from the field and made just 3 of 19 from 3-point range. The Pirates (3-6), who hadn’t beaten a Division I opponent all season, shot 43.4% and made 7 of 20 from long range.
Marquis Godwin scored 12 points for Hampton, and Jalen Hawkins added 14 for the Spartans.
NSU fell to 88-50 in the all-time series, which was a MEAC rivalry until the Pirates moved to the Big South in 2018.
The Spartans led 21-20 with just more than five minutes left in the first half, but Hampton outscored them 13-4 the rest of the way to take a 33-25 halftime lead.
NSU made 2 of 11 from 3-point range as the Pirates shot 52% from the floor jn the first half.
David Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org