ORANGEBURG, S.C. (NSUSpartans.com) – Joe Bryant Jr. scored all 22 of his points in the second half to lead Norfolk State to its sixth-straight win with a 87-69 win over South Carolina State on the road at SHM Memorial Center Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans (15-4, 6-0 MEAC) shot 65.6% in the second half, pouring in 57 points and held the Bulldogs (10-11, 2-3 MEAC) to 40% for the game to remain undefeated in the MEAC.
NSU led by as many as seven in the first half, thanks to a Dana Tate Jr. three-pointer with 5:02 left in the half, but SCSU pulled within one with under two minutes left before the break. A three by Daryl Anderson pushed it back to a four point lead with 1:22 left but a basket by Jemal Davis brought it back to two. NSU would keep it the lead heading into the break.
There was only the one lead change in the first half that the Spartans took at 16:23. While SCSU couldn't find a way to take another lead in the half, they did tie the game up five times with the Spartans scoring the next point each time.
NSU outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 18-10 in the opening frame while also scoring 10 second chance points to just five for the hosts.
The second half started off with both teams going back and forth, trying to put some distance between the other. A three by Rahsaan Edwards just 10 seconds in the second half gave the Bulldogs their first lead after intermission.
SCSU found themselves with a six point lead with 13:06 left in the game, but a three by Bryant and a dunk by Kris Bankston made it a one possession game. After alternating baskets, the Spartans retook the lead on a three by Jalen Hawkins, 58-57 with 8:31 left, a lead they never gave up.
NSU would finish the game on a 29-12 scoring run to pull away for the win.
Just 18 of the Spartans' 57 points in the second half were in the paint, scoring 33 of the points from beyond the arc. There were six ties and six lead changes in the second half.
NSU shot 52.4% (33-63) for the game but was 21 of 32 after halftime. Only seven of the Spartans points came from the foul line.Both teams turned the ball over 10 times throughout the game.
Five Spartans scored in double figures. In addition to Bryant, Hawks (17), Bankston (15), Christian Ings (12) and Tyrese Jenkins (12) all reached the two-digit point total plateau.
Davis paced SCSU with 19 points.
NSU remains on the road for its next game, a showdown with North Carolina Central (8-10, 2-1 MEAC), who is coming off a 75-74 overtime loss against Howard. The contest with the Eagles is schedule for 9 p.m. on Monday and can be viewed on ESPNU.