District of Columbia's dunking wizard, Michael Britt, came up with a few new moves and slams last night despite playing with a badly bruised hand, and Hampton Institute ended up hurting, 99-94.
The 6-foot-7 senior scored 14 of his 24 points, four of the baskets coming off a variety of stuffs, during a 10-minute stretch in the second half as the Firebirds won before a capacity crowd of 2,700 at the UDC Physical Activities Center.
The Firebirds (11-2), top-ranked in NCAA Division II and winners of the Porreco Cup tournament last week in Erie, Pa., played exceptional defense in the first 20 minutes, forcing the rusty Pirates (4-3) into countless turnovers and poor shots.
Hampton failed to control Britt or 7-foot Earl Jones, who had 14 points and seven rebounds in the half as UDC took a 39-27 lead.
But the Pirates, who had not played since Dec. 10, warmed up and started running with UDC after intermission. The visitors' leading scorer, Tony Washington, held to six points the first 20 minutes, began hitting from outside and ended with 26 points. Greg Hines (16), although hampered by four personal fouls, joined in and they rallied Hampton to within 44-37 with 17 minutes left.
Britt then went on a tear. After a 20-footer by UDC guard Greg Carson, Jones scored off a feed from Britt. Off a Hampton turnover, Britt leaped over a defender for his first of his dunks. When Britt stole an errant pass and jumped over Hampton guard Bubba Johnson for his last flying dunk, UDC had an 86-73 pad with four minutes left and was near its 22nd straight home victory.
"We got off to a slow start, maybe because it's a new year," said Britt, who also had 15 rebounds. "I have a little bruise on my (right) hand and it hurts some. But once I started getting in the flow of the game I forgot about it."
UDC Coach Wil Jones said, "I was very satisfied with the team's play. I admit I was more concerned with tonight's game (against third-ranked Sacred Heart) than I was with Hampton. I played everyone because you have to build confidence. The only way to do that is let them play."
Briefly, it appeared Jones' bench-clearing might haunt him. Hampton drove in the final two minutes to within three points with :007 left.
Hawkeye Daniels, one of several UDC reserves to play well, shut off the rally with his 11th and 12th points from the line.