WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Norfolk State women's basketball needed five extra minutes of game time to notch its sixth win of the year, defeating William & Mary 80-74 in overtime at Kaplan Arena on Thursday. The victory is the fourth in a row for the Spartans (6-5), who are guaranteed at least a .500 record in nonconference play for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Kayla Roberts scored nine of NSU's 12 points in the overtime period and did not miss a shot. The senior guard/forward went 2-of-2 from the field, made one 3-pointer and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Roberts finished the game with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting. The Miami, Florida native grabbed seven rebounds, assisted on three makes and came up with three steals. Khadedra Croker finished two points off the team high with 19 while shooting 8-of-15 from the field. Croker set career highs in points and assists (three) while grabbing eight rebounds and blocking three shots. Gabrielle Swinson set a career high with 11 assists in the win and became the first Spartan to record 10 or more assists since Jazamine Gray recorded 10 helpers against North Carolina A&T on Jan. 19, 2016.
Bianca Boggs led all scorers with 22 points for William & Mary (9-2). Boggs made eight of her nine shot attempts while going 3-for-3 from both the 3-point arc and free throw line. The Spartans led by six, 51-45, going into the fourth quarter before the Tribe landed a blow early in the period. William & Mary scored the first five points of the quarter to pull to within a point. From there, the teams traded baskets until an and-one by Boggs tied the game at 55-55 with 7:36 left in the quarter.
Less than a minute later Abby Rendle gave W&M its first lead since the 7:16 mark of the second quarter, but Yamen Hannah responded with her second trey of the game to swing the lead back to NSU's favor. But William & Mary responded with a 6-0 run to take a 63-58 lead with 5:12 left in the period. Unfazed, Norfolk State scored the next five points, and Robert's 3-pointer tied the game at 63-63. Norfolk State led by two points with 21 seconds left in the fourth, but Boggs tied the game with a layup, sending the contest to overtime.
The Spartans started off hot in the extra period and never trailed. Roberts found the bottom of the net from 3-point range just 14 seconds into overtime then followed with a layup to put NSU up 73-68. William & Mary scored the next four points, but NSU went 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 38 seconds to ice the game away.
Norfolk State faced an early deficit in the first quarter but refused to let the game get out of hand. The Tribe led 14-6 at the 5:39 mark, but the Spartans cut the deficit in half by the end of the period on Croker's layup with five seconds remaining. Boggs opened the second quarter with a trey, but Norfolk State scored the next 11 points to take a 29-25 lead. Raven Russell keyed the run by going 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and ended the game with 10 points and a season-high seven rebounds. William & Mary pulled to within a point late in the second quarter, but NSU scored the last four points of the quarter to take a 36-31 lead into the break.
The Spartans' lead never dipped below three points in the third quarter as NSU played steady basketball to protect its lead. Norfolk State shot 53.8 percent from beyond the 3-point line on Thursday and has eclipsed the 50-percent mark twice on the season. NSU limited W&M to 33.3 percent shooting from deep and is 5-2 when shooting better than the competition from beyond the arc. The Spartans set a season high with 19 made free throws but shot 63.3 percent from the line. The Tribe shot 20 points better from the charity stripe, going 10-of-12.