BALTIMORE, Md. (NSUSpartans.com) – Coppin State sank 12 3-pointers and had five players in double figures as the Eagles won the first game of this weekend’s series against the Norfolk State men’s basketball team, 81-71.
In an early Saturday afternoon contest at CSU’s Physical Education Complex, the Spartans held the advantage before the Eagles had a big closing run in the first half. NSU got as close as six points early in the second half before the Eagles pulled ahead for good. It marked their first win over NSU in nine years, breaking a 14-game win streak in the series for Norfolk State.
In addition, Coppin State earned its first home win over the Spartans since the 2006-07 season, as NSU had won the previous 11 matchups on CSU’s home court.
Junior Joe Bryant Jr. shot 8-of-16 for a season-high 21 points in the loss, which dropped NSU to 8-5 overall and 3-2 in the MEAC. The Spartans forced 24 turnovers but made just 35 percent from the floor.
Coppin State improved to 5-9 overall, 4-1 in the league thanks in part to Dejuan Clayton. He made all 10 of his foul shots and finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists. CSU made 44 percent overall and shot 12-of-34 from 3-point range.
A 27-10 run by Coppin State in the last eight minutes of the first half turned what had been a seven-point edge for the Spartans into a 10-point Eagle halftime lead. CSU had gone four minutes without a score, falling behind 20-13 after senior Mustafa Lawrence sank a 3-pointer for NSU at the 8:20 mark.
The Spartans’ last lead came on a 3-pointer from sophomore Daryl Anderson a few minutes later. Coppin State scored 10 straight after that, and a pair of free throws from Nendah Tarke late in the half made it 40-30 in favor of the Eagles.
A pair of 3-pointers from senior Kashaun Hicks helped NSU close the gap to six several minutes into the second half. But the Spartans did not get any closer. CSU led by double digits the last eight-plus minutes of the game, including by as much as 18. The Spartans made 4-of-4 from the free throw line and had a pair of buckets, all in the last 1:09 of the contest, to get the final margin back down to 10.
Aside from Bryant, junior Devante Carter added 11 points, and senior Kyonze Chavis and junior Jalen Hawkins each had 10 points and five rebounds. Despite a game-high 11 rebounds from senior J.J. Matthews, NSU came up on the short end of the rebounding battle, 48-40.
The Spartans did finish with a 26-13 edge in points off turnovers.
Kenan Sarvan totaled 14 points and nine rebounds for CSU, and Anthony Tarke posted a stat line of 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals. Koby Thomas (11 points, five rebounds) and Kyle Cardaci (11 points, seven rebounds) also scored in double figures while helping on the glass.
The two teams will finish out the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.