NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Before Norfolk State moved forward with its 2021-2022 season, the Spartans and their fans took a moment to look back.
Tuesday night saw a championship ceremony and banner unveiling, commemorating NSU's 2021 MEAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. Players and coaches from the squad were presented with championship rings and two new banners were displayed in the rafters of Echols Hall. Former players returned to receive their hardware and be recognized in front of the green and gold faithful.
Once the page was officially turned to this season, Norfolk State overcame some first-half defensive struggles to pull away and take care of Bridgewater, 79-56.
The Spartans scored the first nine points of the game and held a 15-3 advantage as the first half approached its halfway mark. That's when the defense began its lull, as the Eagles chipped away and took a 33-29 lead into halftime.
NSU quickly took control in the second half, opening the stanza on a 17-1 run to surge in front, 46-34. The Spartans shot 62 percent from the floor in the second frame and cruised to the 23 point victory. Norfolk State out-rebounded Bridgewater, 46-25.
Lake Taylor product Joe Bryant led the Spartans with 18 points, while Kris Bankston posted a big double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Christian Ings rounded out the NSU players in double figures with 14 points. Bridgewater's Andy Pack led all scorers with 24 points.
Norfolk State showed off its depth, with its bench outscoring the Eagles' bench, 22-3.
The Spartans don't get much rest, as they return to action at home against Penn State-Wilkes Barre on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM.