About a month ago, Hampton University briefly had the worst rating in the country among the 347 NCAA Division I men's basketball teams.
But how things have changed.
Thursday night, the Pirates (9-13, 6-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) earned their fourth consecutive victory, rallying past Savannah State 71-68 in overtime in Georgia.
Savannah State (12-10, 6-2) led 58-56 before HU freshman Deron Powers scored on a layup to send the game to OT tied at 58. Powers' first shot in the sequence was blocked, but he recovered the ball.
Ramon Mercado went 1-of-2 on free throws to give the Pirates a 71-68 lead, and the Tigers missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game.
Powers, from Williamsburg Christian Academy, led the way with 15 points -- on 7-for-12 shooting -- to go along with a career-high eight rebounds. Junior guard/forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell added 13 points and blocked four shots.
Mercado, senior guard Aaron Austin -- a former Woodside High standout -- and freshman guard Ke’Ron Brown each had 10 points for the Pirates.
Hampton was 4-for-4 from the floor in overtime, taking a 60-58 lead on a Powers jumper at the 3:19 mark. A free throw from Austin with 21 seconds left put the Pirates up 70-64.
HU shot a season-best 50 percent (27-of-54). Savannah State was just 2-for-9 from the floor in overtime.
The memorial service for legendary athletic director and basketball coach C.J. Woollum is at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in CNU's Freeman Center -- where the basketball court already was named after him.
Woollum died Wednesday at age 64 after fighting brain cancer.
North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell became the third women's Division I coach to gain her 900th victory as the No. 16 Tar Heels (21-3, 9-2 ACC) routed Boston College 80-52. Xylina McDaniel had 15 points and seven rebounds.
Hatchell joined Pat Summitt and Jody Conradt in the women's 900-win club. Hatchell is tops among active coaches, with Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer two wins behind.
More ACC women:
Morgan Stroman had 24 points and 16 rebounds in her home state, leading Miami (16-7, 7-5) past host Clemson 62-46.
Georgia State held off William and Mary 57-52 in Atlanta despite Emily Correal's 22 points and seven rebounds, dealing the Tribe (5-16, 3-7 Colonial Athletic Association) its second loss in a row after a three-game winning streak.
W&M erased a 16-point second-half deficit and went ahead 47-45, but GSU scored the next eight points. With the Tribe down 55-52, Janine Aldridge missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game, and the Panthers clinched the win with two free throws.
Kayla Nolan had 17 points for Georgia State. ...
Second-place James Madison (15-7, 9-1) breezed past UNC Wilmington 74-43 to extend its winning streak to eight.
Tarik Hislop scored 19 points, climbing to fifth on JMU's all-time chart with 1,615. ...
No. 20 Delaware (19-3, 10-0), JMU’s opponent Sunday in Harrisonburg, won 77-55 at Towson.
Elena Delle Donne grabbed her 900th career rebound and senior classmate Danielle Parker registered her 1,00th career point for the Blue Hens.
Delle Donne needs just 11 points to break the CAA all-time scoring record of 2,667, set by JMU's Dawn Evans through 2011. Odds are that Delle Donne will do so in JMU's Convocation Center.
Campbell beat Radford 66-52, though the Highlanders' Ashley Buckhannon had 14 points and became the 20th Radford player to reach 1,000. Campbell (15-8, 7-5 Big South) shot 62.5 percent in the second half to beat Radford (12-9, 7-5). ...
Cheyenne Parker had 34 points and 20 rebounds as High Point (13-9, 7-4 Big South) won 79-72 at Longwood (9-14, 6-6).
Lancers freshman Daeisha Brown scored 20. Longwood's Crystal Smith scored 15 to become Longwood's 20th 1,000-point scorer. ...
Kristine Mial's 20 points and former U.Va. player Whitny Edwards' 13 points and six rebounds led East Carolina (16-5, 6-2 Conference USA) to a 68-59 win at Houston (9-12, 3-5).
William and Mary All-American cornerback B.W. Webb of Newport News became just the third Tribe player ever invited to participate in the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis.
Webb, a Warwick High graduate, will perform in front of coaches, scouts and front-office personnel from all 32 NFL teams. The NFL Network will cover the Feb. 23-26 combine, and Webb is scheduled to work out with the defensive backs Feb. 26.
He will join current New York Giants defensive end Adrian Tracy (2010) and offensive lineman Archie Harris (1987) in combine participation. Webb will look to join six former Tribe players who are currently on NFL rosters.
ACC regular-season champion Virginia Tech is No. 7 in this week’s coaches poll.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times