Norfolk State prepping for Howard, UMES

Norfolk State takes its impressive 10-4 record north as it visits Howard and Maryland-Eastern Shore for a MEAC road-trip.

Photo courtesy: Nick Sutton/Norfolk State

Courtesy: Norfolk State

NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State men’s basketball team will look to keep the momentum going from its 29-point win in the MEAC opener over Delaware State Wednesday when the Spartans hit the road for a pair of games. The Spartans face Howard at 4 p.m. Saturday in Burr Gymnasium in Washington, D.C., and Maryland Eastern Shore at 4 p.m. Monday at Hytche Athletic Center in Princess Anne, Md.

The Spartans (10-4, 1-0 MEAC) returned from a three-week COVID pause by cruising past Delaware State 80-51 on Wednesday night behind Joe Bryant Jr.’s season-high 29 points. Kris Bankston scored 18 points and recorded nine rebounds. Jalen Hawkins scored 15 points, 12 during NSU’s 53-point second half.

Howard and Maryland Eastern Shore are two of the more improved teams in the conference this year. Howard is 6-6 on the season with wins over the likes of William & Mary, American and North Carolina A&T. The Bison last played on Dec. 21 in a 77-69 loss at Harvard.

Similarly, the Hawks are 5-6 on the season and last saw action on Dec. 20, a 70-54 loss at Charlotte. 

NSU vs. Howard/MDES Tip-Ins 

  • The Spartans improved to 93-32 in MEAC play under head coach Robert Jones after Wednesday’s victory. NSU is one of 14 programs in the country to win 75 percent of its conference games since the start of the 2011-12 season. 
  • Bryant had his most efficient game of the season on Wednesday, shooting 9-of-12 from the floor, 5-of-7 from 3-point range and 6-of-6 from the foul line to finish one point shy of his career high.  
  • Bryant, who was named to the Lou Henson Player of the Year Award midseason watch list for the nation’s top mid-major player, now ranks fourth in the country in free-throw percentage, at 95.0. 
  • Kris Bankston did Bryant one better in the shooting efficiency category Wednesday, though his field goals were much closer in as usual. Bankston was a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor with six of the makes being dunks, a season high. Bankston is shooting an absurd 77.5 percent from the floor this year and is one made field goal shy of qualifying for the national lead. Ryan Kalkbrenner of Creighton leads the NCAA at 71 percent. 
  • Saturday’s game pits the MEAC’s top offense so far in Howard against the conference’s top defense in NSU. Howard leads the MEAC in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. NSU leads in scoring defense, field goal and 3-point percentage defense. The Spartans are seventh nationally in field goal percentage ‘D.’ 
  • NSU has had recent success against both the Bison and Hawks. NSU leads the all-time series with Howard 48-11 and has won three straight in the series. The Spartans are 48-17 all-time against MDES with a six-game winning streak. 
  • NSU has not faced either of this trip’s opponents since 2019-20. The Bison played five games last season before cancelling the rest of the season due to COVID-19. The Hawks made the decision to opt out of all sports for the entire 2020-21 academic year. 
Norfolk State prepping for Howard, UMES
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