It was tougher than expected, but Hampton completed a perfect conference regular season and extended its winning streak to 15 with a 54-51 home Senior Night victory against North Carolina A&T.
HU fell behind 51-48 with 2:10 left, but scored the game's final six points. It was the 46th consecutive win by HU against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opposition, including MEAC tournament games.
Freshman Malia Tate-DeFreitas scored 15 points. including a jump shot with 1:57 to go and a pair of free throws with 1:14 left to give HU a 52-51 lead.
Tyler Hobgood and Kenia Cole each hit free throws in the closing moments to hold off A&T (23-5, 13-3).
HU (25-4, 16-0) finished 12-1 at home and will attempt to repeat as the tournament champion and gain another NCAA automatic bid. The tournament begins Monday at Norfolk Scope Arena, but HU earned a bye and won't play until Wednesday.
Senior forward Alyssa Bennett led the way with 18 points in her final home game. Senior guard Nicole Hamilton added eight points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Forward Brielle Ward grabbed a team-high 15 rebounds. ...
Norfolk State closed the regular season with a 63-53 loss to North Carolina Central at Echols Hall.
NSU’s loss, coupled with Bethune-Cookman’s loss to Florida A&M, gave the Spartans the No. 6 seed in the MEAC tournament.
The Spartans (12-15, 8-8) shot only 32.8 percent (21-of-64) from the field, but were 91.7 percent (11-of-12) from the free-throw line.
Freshman Logan Powell was the only Spartan to score in double figures, finishing the game with 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior Rachel Gordon, in her final home game, added six points and eight rebounds.
N.C. Central improved to 11-18, 6-10.
Virginia (14-17) was eliminated from the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in gut-wrenching fashion, falling 77-76 to Georgia Tech (20-10) at Greensboro Coliseum despite Sarah Imovbioh’s 10 rebounds and career-high 27 points.
Kaela Davis led the Yellow Jackets with 28 points.
U.Va., which had trailed since midway through the first half, evened the game at 70, then again at 74.
Aaliyah Whitehead gave the Yellow Jackets a 77-74 lead with a basket and free throw with 13 seconds to go, but the Cavaliers cut the margin to one on two technical free throws by Ataira Franklin with 3 seconds left. They came after Georgia Tech’s Nariah Taylor was assessed a technical foul for taunting after blocking a shot out of bounds.
Virginia got a rushed final attempt from Franklin from just inside the free-throw line, but it fell well short without hitting the rim. ...
Earlier, Natasha Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds as No. 9 seed Florida State rallied past No. 8 Miami 72-67 in overtime.
Cheetah Delgado added a career-high 20 points for the ninth-seeded Seminoles (20-10), including a key 3-pointer with 31.1 seconds left in OT as FSU protected a one-point lead.
Necole Sterling scored 14 points and was one of five in double figures for the Hurricanes (16-14), who led 33-26 at halftime and 55-49 with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
Freshman guard Adrienne Motley, from Woodside High, had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in 43 minutes for Miami. ...
No. 5 seed Syracuse (22-8), in its ACC tournament debut, ousted No. 13 Clemson 63-53 as Brittney Sykes scored 10 points, including four to cap an 8-0 burst for a 52-41 lead with 6:47 left. The Orange will play No. 4 seed N.C. State, which is ranked 14th. ...
In the night's finale, freshman Diamond DeShields scored 17 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:44 left to help sixth-seeded North Carolina beat 11th-seeded Wake Forest 69-65.
UNC (23-8), ranked 13th nationally, trailed 39-27 at halftime and 62-61 before DeShields' 3. She hit two clinching free throws with 10.4 seconds left, sending UNC into Friday's quarterfinals against eighth-ranked and third-seeded Maryland.
Dearica Hamby scored 29 points and Chelsea Douglas added 20 for the 11th-seeded Demon Deacons (15-16) in a game delayed more than 20 minutes by a power outage early in the second half.
Big South quarterfinals:
Ashley Rininger had 12 points and eight rebounds as No. 2 seed Liberty breezed past Presbyterian 67-42 in Conway, S.C., to reach the Big South semifinals.
The Flames will meet No. 3 Winthrop, which defeated host Coastal Carolina 77-58.
Dequesha McClanahan scored a game-high 24 points and Erica Williams recorded 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles.
On the other side of the bracket, top-seeded High Point dismissed UNC Asheville 79-69 behind Kaylah Keys’ 23 points.
The Panthers earned a spot against No. 4 Campbell, which defeated Gardner-Webb 63-46 as former Surry County High player RaeChaun Edwards had 15 points for the Camels (19-11). West Point High player Kiera Gaines added nine points for Campbell.
Atlantic 10 tournament:
Robyn Parks had 17 points and nine rebounds as No. 8 seed VCU (22-8) beat No. 9 Richmond 61-52 in the day’s first game at Richmond Coliseum. Kristina King had 24 points and Genevieve Okoro 14 rebounds for the Spiders (14-16), but the Rams gained control late in the first half.
VCU will meet top-seeded Dayton at noon Friday. ...
Defending champion Saint Joseph’s (22-8) whipped George Mason 89-55 as Hawks reserve Kelsey Berger scored 15 points. SJU will meet fourth-seeded George Washington at 2:30 p.m. Friday. ...
La Salle (15-14) ousted Saint Louis 65-56, thanks to 23 points from Micahya Owens from Alicia Cropper. The Explorers will take on second-seeded St. Bonaventure at 5 p.m. Friday.
Sixth-seeded Duquesne (19-11) defeated Rhode Island 61-53 to earn the right to play third-seeded Fordham at 7:30 Friday.
April Robinson had 13 points for the Dukes, while Raegan Moore had 12 points and nine rebounds.