Despite turnover struggles, Northeastern emerged victorious over Hampton 72-67 in Sunday afternoon’s road matchup. Aggressive full-court pressing and lights-out shooting from behind the arc were on full display as the Huskies managed to hang on in a cagey fourth quarter, grabbing their second victory in a row.
Heading into the game, Northeastern’s 6-5 conference record saw them sitting sixth in the CAA standings, while Hampton’s 5-6 placed them at ninth. However, outside of the conference the difference was larger, with the Huskies sitting at 11-11 overall, and Hampton at 8-13. In this matchup, both sides played very aggressive defense, but in the end it was the shooting splits that told the story of the game, with the Huskies outshooting the Pirates by over 30%, 53.8 to 23.1.
This shooting disparity allowed the Huskies to cover up some of the issues in their play, such as allowing 25 turnovers as a team. The Pirates also outdid them at the free throw line, missing only free throws all game and shooting 90.9% to the Huskies’ 57.9%.
Individual talents shone in this matchup, with junior guard Derin Erdogan and graduate student guard JaMiya Braxton running the Huskies offense to the tune of 19 points each. For Hampton, junior forward Nylah Young was a force to be reckoned with down low, leading the way with 20 points and six rebounds on 8-for-15 shooting. She was the exception on the team though, as no other Hampton player managed to shoot 50% on more than four attempts.
One Husky who stepped up to the plate was sophomore forward Asha Parker, who finished the game with six points and nine rebounds, giving the team a boost on the glass. Head coach Bridgette Mitchell expressed her joy at Parker’s performance, as well as the team’s defense as a whole.
“I think when Jae[lyn Batts] is playing her best defense and Asha’s in there rebounding — she had huge, monster rebounds,” Mitchell said. “That really helped us, and gave us energy and more possessions.”
The first quarter was a battle, with both sides playing physical basketball, and fouls often interrupted play. Young was imposing her will in the paint, scoring six points in the quarter and fighting for offensive rebounds. She recovered one after a missed shot and quickly fed redshirt junior forward Dlayla Chakolis for a second-chance layup.
As usual, much of Northeastern’s offense was focused through Erdogan, who found her rhythm quickly, scoring seven points in quick succession, including a sidestep three-pointer that gave the Huskies a 9-7 lead with 6:41 to play. She followed up that quarter with an even more impressive second one, putting up 10 points, including two three-pointers, to take her to 17 points for just the first half.
Hampton managed to keep pace against this stellar shooting performance, receiving a boost from the grit and defensive hustle of sophomore guard Victoria Mason. Mason recorded six steals in the game, two of them within the final two minutes of the half. The Pirates went on a 5-1 run in those final minutes to erase the majority of a six-point deficit and to go into the break only down 35-33.
The third quarter saw the Huskies take control of the game, heavily contesting nearly every Hampton shot to hold the Pirates to just six points in the first six minutes of the quarter, while the Northeastern shooters continued to excel. Batts joined in on the scoring, grabbing four of her nine points in the third, and she fed Braxton for an open three, which Braxton knocked down. The Husky lead peaked at 13 points midway through the quarter, and going into the fourth the scoreline was 54-47, with Northeastern looking very much in control of the game.
They stopped looking that way as the quarter started however, with the Hampton defense causing problems in the passing lanes and disrupting the Husky offense. Mason continued to be a spark plug for the Pirates, with sophomore guard Jermany Mapp getting in on the defensive action as well, finishing with four steals. The Northeastern lead continued to dwindle down the home stretch, and with 4:34 left to play the score was 63-61 Huskies.
Hampton looked very threatening, but seemed to briefly come undone in the last few minutes of the game, and successive steals by Batts and sophomore guard Gemima Motema helped the Huskies go on a 7-0 run to bring the score to 70-61 with 3:46 remaining.
The Pirates fought back, reducing the deficit to only three in the final minute of the game, but Mapp missed a potential game-tying three-pointer with seven seconds remaining, and Motema hit a layup at the other end as time expired to bring the final scoreline to 72-67.
The Huskies at times made the game harder than it had to be with sloppy play in possession, but their hot shooting was simply too much for the Pirates, whose defensive heroics weren’t enough to escape the final result. The win moves the Huskies to a 7-5 record in the CAA, keeping them in sixth, while the Pirates move to 5-7 in conference play, holding their spot in ninth.
The Huskies will continue their road trip, heading to Philadelphia for a matchup with Drexel on Friday at 6 p.m. Stay tuned to WRBB Sports for more Northeastern basketball coverage.