|Chievous Powers No. 6 Hampton Into MEAC Final||< All News|
|Friday, March 13, 2015|
NORFOLK, Va. --- Quinton Chievous scored a game- and career-high 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead four players in double figures as Hampton University defeated Norfolk State (20-13), 75-64 in the semifinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament at the Norfolk Scope.
The Pirates (15-17), the Number 6 seed, will take on Delaware State, the Number 5 seed in the championship on Saturday at 1 pm. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Chievous made an impact early, tallying 13 first half points to give Hampton a 36-33 lead at intermission. The Pirates extended the lead to 50-39 in the first seven minutes of the second half on the scoring of the play of Chievous, Reginald Johnson and Ke’Ron Brown.
“The tempo was the way we prefer; the faster we go, the better we are,” said Hampton head coach Edward Joyner. “It was important to establish the tempo and focus on playing for 40 minutes, something we have not been doing at times.”
Normally a key reserve, Chievous was thrust into the starting role due to an injury to Dwight Meikle.
“Chievous is like a starter,” said Joyner. “He has been valuable off the bench, but in reality we have six starters. His value comes because he plays different positions for us. He was outstanding tonight for us. He scored; he had big free throws and he grabbed big rebounds for us. He was really focused tonight. He was communicating well and he was like a coach out there.”
In addition to his points, Chevous grabbed 16 rebounds, tying a career best and he was 11 for 13 from the free throw line and dealt out four assists in 35 minutes.
On the defensive end, the Pirates were able to contain Jeff Short, the team leading scorer and a first team All-MEAC selection. Short was 2 of 10 from the field and scored 10 points, nearly 10 under his average.
“We threw the kitchen sink at him,” said Joyner of the strategy. “We doubled him wherever he went and did whatever we could to take the ball out of his hands. It was a team effort on defense.”
The Spartans defeated the Pirates twice during the regular season, but this game was different, according to Norfolk State head coach Robert Jones.
“The effort was just not there today,” said Jones. “We waited too long to get untracked. We got lost in a moment in a bad way.”
Johnson chipped in with 13 points, Brown with 11 and Brian Darden with 10 for Hampton which shot a sizzling 84 percent (32 of 38) from the free throw line.
Norfolk State was paced by D’Shon Taylor with 16, RaShid Gaston with 15 and Short with 10
The Pirates will be in a familiar position again, having dropped two to Delaware State during the regular season.
“We played them twice during the second semester and there are a lot of factors as to why we did not win,” noted Joyner. “It’s sweet to be in the Finals. The most important thing is to get some rest because we play again in less than 24 hours. We have to control (Kendall) Gray and (Amere) May. In the games against them, May had big second halves and scored 31 and 26 against us. We have to make sure that we do a better job for 40 minutes.”
The Pirates lost both games to the Hornets this season, 74-71 at Hampton and 85-75 in Dover, Del. on March 2.