Spartans win 1st rd MEAC Tourney game over Hawks

NORFOLK, Va. – Five players scored between 12 and 16 points, and the result was a 78-68 win over Maryland Eastern Shore for the Norfolk State men's basketball team in the first round of the MEAC Tournament on Monday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. Sophomore Steven Whitley led all players with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting with nine rebounds and seven assists. Junior Derrik Jamerson Jr. added 15 points, all on 5-of-7 3-point shooting. He helped the Spartans hit 11-of-19 from deep for the game. Norfolk State improved to 14-18 on the year and advanced to the quarterfinal round to take on North Carolina A&T at 8 p.m. on Thursday night.

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The Hawks (7-25) were led by Cameron Bacote and Logan McIntosh with 14 points each. Both teams shot 50 percent in the second half, as NSU's 10-point halftime lead stood the test of time. The Spartans led the entire way after the opening bucket 15 seconds in. The advantage reached as much as 12 in the first half and 20 in the second.

NSU pushed out to a 17-5 lead to start the first seven and a half minutes of the contest, with six players scoring in the early going for the Spartans. It became a 22-10 lead midway through the half after Whitley sank a 3-pointer from the right corner. A 9-3 run for the Hawks late in the opening stanza cut the Spartan lead to five, but Jamerson sank his second trey of the half with time ticking down to put NSU ahead 37-27. They held MDES to just 37.5 percent shooting in the first half.

Senior Kyle Williams and Jamerson had 3-pointers early in the second half to get the lead back up to 12. It went to 15 at 52-37 after Williams made another one at the 13:20 mark. It was part of a larger 15-4 run that extended the advantage to 57-39 with less than 12 minutes to go. Pitt completed a 3-point play and drained a trey to keep the Spartan lead above 15. Jamerson also made another shot from long range to make it a 20-point ballgame with 7:39 left. A 9-0 run for the Hawks got them as close as 10 the rest of the way.

Williams finished with 13 points, scoring 3-of-6 from long range. Junior Alex Long and freshman Mastadi Pitt each added 12. For the game, NSU connected on 27-of-55 overall (49.1 percent). Miryne Thomas totaled 12 points and 14 rebounds for Maryland Eastern Shore, which made 22-of-50 from the floor (44.0 percent). The Hawks made 13-of-17 from the foul line in the second half when both teams scored 41 points each.

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