2021-2022 Basketball

Norfolk State holds off DelState in MEAC quarterfinals

Norfolk State’s Kris Bankston dunks during a 13-2 second-half run that helped fuel the top-seeded Spartans’ 74-66 first round MEAC Tournament win over eighth-seed Delaware State.

Top seed and defending champion Norfolk State opened men’s play at the MEAC Basketball Tournament Wednesday evening with a 74-66 quarterfinal win over eighth-seed Delaware State.

The Hornets who came in 2-26 overall and winless in conference play (0-14) hung with the Spartans for a half, only trailing 31-30 on a buzzer-beater by guard Martez Robinson at the break.

Norfolk State scored the first seven points of the second half to go up 38-30. But the Hornets fought back and pulled within 41-39 on a John Stansbury layup with 12:39 to play. On DSU’s ensuing possession, Corey Perkins drove the baseline and tried a reverse layup that could have tied the score, but NSU big man Kris Bankston blocked the shot.

On the other end, Bankston’s layup off a feed from Dana Tate started a 13-2 NSU run, capped by a 3-pointer from Tate with 8:09 to play that put the Spartans up 54-41. Bankston added a dunk and two free throws in the run.

Norfolk State pulls away

The Spartans (22-6) stretched the lead to as much as 15 twice, the last time at 58-43 with 6:40 left before the Hornets put on a full-court press. They  forced some NSU turnovers and got as close as 71-66 with :33 seconds left. NSU did not have a field goal but converted 12 of 14 free throws over the last 3:39 to keep the Hornets at bay.

MEAC Player of the Year, Norfolk State senior Joe Bryant Jr. (#4) drives for a basket while defendied by DelState’s John Stansbury (#5). Bryant was held to nine points in the Spartans’ 74-66 first round tournament win.

Jalen Hawkins led Norfolk State with 17 points while Bankston and Tate both had 14. The trio each also had seven rebounds that led to a 41-26 Spartans’ rebounding edge. MEAC Player of the year, Joe Bryant Jr., had only nine points on 2 of 9 shooting from the field, 1 of 5 3-pointers.

First team all-conference guard, senior Myles Carter, had a game-high 27 points to lead four Hornets in double-digit scoring. Stansbury had 12, Dominic Fragala 11 and D’Marco Baucum 10. Carter’s nine rebounds led DSU.  

The win advances Norfolk State to Friday evening’s 6 p.m. semifinal game where the Spartans will face the winner of Thursday’s 6 p.m. match up of fourth-seed Morgan State and fifth-seed South Carolina State.

Norfolk State holds off DelState in MEAC quarterfinals
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