RALEIGH, N.C. – The Hampton University men’s basketball team saw its 2015-16 season end on Thursday, falling to top-seeded Virginia 81-45 in first-round NCAA Tournament action at the PNC Arena.
The Pirates finished the season 21-11.
“We wanted to challenge to try to make them knock down shots,” head coach Edward Joyner, Jr. said. “And they did.”
Quinton Chievous led the Pirates with 17 points, going 7-for-13 from the floor, while Reginald Johnson, Jr. added 10 points. Jervon Pressley grabbed a team-high eight rebounds off the bench, and Lawrence Cooks added seven boards.
The Pirates struggled from the floor, shooting just over 30 percent (17-for-56) for the contest and hitting three of 19 3-pointers (15.8 percent).
A jumper from Brian Darden gave the Pirates an early 8-4 lead over the Cavaliers, and after Virginia cut the lead to 8-7, Johnson put Hampton on top 10-7 with a layup at the 13:44 mark.
But Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill hit back-to-back shots, giving Virginia an 11-10 lead and kicking off an 11-0 run that saw the Cavaliers lead 18-10 with nine minutes left in the half. An 8-2 Hampton spurt cut the lead to 20-18 after a Chievous layup at the 5:52 mark.
But the Cavaliers ended the half on a 20-3 run, taking a 40-21 lead into the half.
Chievous had 11 points at the break.
A Chievous layup with 18:34 left in the second half cut the lead to below 20, 44-25. Johnson did the same with a pair of free throws at the 15:25 mark, cutting the lead to 46-27, but the Cavaliers maintained control throughout.
Darden hit a jumper with 11:29 to play to cut the lead to 55-34, but Virginia countered with a 23-9 run to open up a 78-43 lead with 3:04 remaining.
The Cavaliers’ largest lead was the game’s final margin.
Virginia (27-7) shot just north of 55 percent for the game, hitting 32 of its 58 shots. The Cavaliers also made 12 of their 25 3-pointers and five of their eight free throws, while also holding a 37-31 edge on the glass.
Gill led four Cavaliers in double figures with 19 points.
“I would not be shocked if I was at the Final Four in Houston and (Virginia was) playing,” Joyner said.