Norfolk State rolls past Hampton 79-62 in Battle of the Bay

Posted at 11:36 PM, Jan 21, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. - Senior Jonathan Wade scored a game-high 23 points, and the Norfolk State men’s basketball team shot lights out from 3-point range in a 79-62 win over Hampton on Saturday night in the Battle of the Bay at Joseph Echols Hall.

Wade made 7-of-11 from the floor and added six rebounds and a career-high five assists. He also sank a pair of shots from beyond the arc to help NSU finish a blistering 10-of-16 from deep. The Spartans trailed for just one minute early in the first half and led by double digits almost the entire second half.

The victory improved NSU’s record to 3-2 in MEAC play while dropping Hampton to the same mark. The Spartans overcame 18 turnovers but also outrebounded the Pirates by a 41-31 margin.

Wade was one of two Spartan players in double figures as NSU (6-13 overall) won the first of two regular season meetings this year with its biggest rival. Junior Zaynah Robinson added 15 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals for the Spartans.

In front of a sellout crowd, Norfolk State had control for most of the game. NSU broke it open thanks to an 18-4 run, highlighted by 10 points from Wade. By the time it was over, the Spartans led 24-12 with 9:48 left in the first half. Wade capped that spurt with one of his two 3-pointers in the game.

The teams then traded buckets eight times altogether until junior Micah Goss drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with three minutes left. That gave the Spartans their biggest lead of the half at 35-20.

Lysander Bracey hit a trey with less than a minute left for Hampton (6-12) to cut the Spartan lead to 38-27 at the break.

NSU, which shot 55 percent in the first half, scored the first six points out of the break to jump ahead by 17. Robinson made three straight from the foul line and then sank a trey at the 15:46 mark to again put the Spartans up by 17, 50-33. Hampton answered with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to get to within single digits for the only time in the half, 52-43.

The Spartans brushed that aside to push the lead to 19 thanks to an 11-1 run. Junior Kyle Williams hit two 3-pointers, and senior Kerwin Okoro sank a long range shot in transition to make it 63-44 with eight minutes left. A 12-1 run a little later, sparked by seven more points from Wade, made it 75-50.

Hampton was able to cut the margin down to 17 by the end to avoid its worst loss to NSU in the teams’ Division I era.

Norfolk State finished the game 26-of-53 from the field (49.1 percent), while Hampton rebounded from a 31 percent first half to go 25-of-66 overall (37.9 percent). The Pirates made just 5-of-19 from long range.

Junior Jordan Butler led all players with 11 rebounds with eight points and five blocks. He finished with half of NSU’s 10 swats on the night. Williams totaled nine points, and Okoro added eight.

Norfolk State also shot 17-of-20 from the free throw line, with Wade hitting 7-of-8.

Kalin Fisher and Branden Aughburns each scored 12 points to lead the Pirates, who held advantages in points in the paint (36-24) and points off turnovers (24-10).