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Morgan State (17-13) vs. Hampton (23-8)



Saturday, March 12th, 2:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (14,665) -- Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Morgan State 10-2, Hampton 8-3. Away Record: Morgan State 3-10, Hampton 8-5. Neutral Record: Morgan State 4-1, Hampton 7-0. Conference Record: Morgan State 10-6, Hampton 11-5. Series Record: Hampton leads, 19-10.

GAME NOTES: The Morgan State Bears try to capture their third straight Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship this afternoon, as the team matches up against the Hampton Pirates at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Fourth-seeded Morgan State, which defeated Norfolk State in 2009 (83-69) and South Carolina State (68-61) last year for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, began the quest this season with a 77-59 win over North Carolina A&T on Thursday and followed it up with a 61-48 blowout of top-seeded Bethune- Cookman on Friday.

As for the second-seeded Pirates, a squad that won it all in 2006 versus Delaware State (60-56) and has three trophies total in the last decade, they conquered Maryland-Eastern Shore three days ago in a 77-55 final and then took down Norfolk State on Friday night, 85-61.

Morgan State won the only regular-season meeting between these two squads back in January with a 78-72 final, which means the all-time series now favors Hampton by a count of 19-10, even though the Bears have now won three in a row.

The defense played huge for the Bears against Bethune-Cookman as they held the opposition to just 38.8 percent shooting from the field and 3-of-13 behind the three-point line. Bethune-Cookman didn't do itself any favors by shooting only 7-of-13 at the free-throw line either. Kevin Thompson led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor off the bench, adding seven rebounds and three assists for Morgan State. Larry Bastfield accounted for 15 points and DeWayne Jackson 11 and six boards in the triumph as well. Over the course of 30 games this season Jackson has generated a team-best 14.1 ppg, although his mere 24.9 percent accuracy from three-point range has been rather weak. Thompson chips in with 13.2 ppg, but in his case 58.7 percent accuracy at the free-throw line just isn't good enough to keep him on the floor all the time.

Hampton trailed by double figures in the first half against the Spartans yesterday, but then the Pirates converted 20-of-27 at the free-throw line after the break and cruised to the lopsided win in the semifinals. Hampton, which knocked down just 1-of-3 at the charity stripe in the first half, was paced by Kwame Morgan with his 30 points on 4-of-9 shooting behind the three- point line and a perfect 8-of-8 at the charity stripe. Darrion Pellum was responsible for another 18 points, seven boards and five steals, while Danny Agbelese came up a point shy of a double-double as he cleared 11 rebounds. Pellum is putting up a team-best 17.9 ppg right now, while ironically enough it is Morgan who might pose just as big of a threat to Morgan State with his 16.7 ppg and 37.3 percent accuracy behind the three-point line. Between the two of them they've made good on 169 threes this season, the rest of the Pirates a collective 36 beyond the arc.

If Pellum and Morgan can get loose out on the perimeter for Hampton, the Bears will have a hard time keeping the score down today and that should play right into the hands of the Pirates.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hampton 75, Morgan State 69

03/12 10:35:32 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI