DOVER, Del. (NSUSpartans.com) – It took an extra five minutes of action, but the Norfolk State men’s basketball team was able to hang on and defeat Delaware State 83-79 in overtime on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Hall.
The Spartans survived DSU’s upset bid after senior Devante Carter tied the score in regulation with a pair of free throws with 40.0 seconds left. They later scored nine in a row and held the Hornets scoreless for three minutes in overtime. DSU was within two with less than 20 seconds to go in the game, but the Hornets missed their last two shots to remain winless.
On the other side, NSU got 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists from junior Joe Bryant Jr. as the Spartans improved to 3-1 in the MEAC and 8-4 overall. Senior Devante Carter had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds to help NSU win its fourth straight. The duo combined to hit 15-of-19 from the free throw line. Bryant made all four of his shots from the charity stripe in overtime.
The Hornets dropped to 0-9 overall, 0-4 in the league despite a 29-point effort from Pinky Wiley. He made 7-of-11 from the 3-point line as DSU finished with 12 makes from deep. The Spartans held them to just 35 percent overall shooting, however.
“It was good to come away with a sweep this weekend,” said NSU head coach Robert Jones. “We showed our resilience once again after being down by eight late in the game. We did not have a real good flow to the game, but an ugly win is always better than a pretty loss.”
The Spartans led for the latter portion of the first half and most of the second half until DSU ran ahead thanks to a 23-6 run. Norfolk State had to overcome an eight-point hole with less than five and a half minutes to go in regulation.
They did just that, scoring 10 straight for a two-point lead, 67-65, with 3:38 on the clock. A 3-point play gave DSU the lead back, and after Wiley made 1-of-2 from the line with 45.9 seconds to go, he fouled Carter. After Carter made both, Delaware State turned the ball over. Both teams missed their final shots to head to overtime, including a clean look from 3-point range by DSU at the buzzer.
The Hornets were up by four early in overtime after Wiley knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. Bryant’s four free throws helped the Spartans push ahead 80-75 thanks to that 9-0 run. But Myles Carter went to the hoop for two, and DSU made both shots from the foul line after Devante Carter had gone 1-of-2 at the other end.
Carter and senior J.J. Matthews each hit 1-of-2 after that, and the Hornets could not convert twice on the offensive end to close out the contest.
Sophomore Tyrese Jenkins joined Carter and Bryant in double figures with 13 points and five rebounds. NSU made 37 percent from the floor but held a 34-18 edge in points in the paint.
Delaware State was first to take control of the game following an 11-2 run early in the first half. The Hornets knocked down three shots from deep during that time to build a 14-6 lead a little more than five and a half minutes into the contest. It was a seven-point lead for the Hornets at 19-12 at the 8:22 mark after free throws from Myles Carter. The Spartans then took over.
Junior Jalen Hawkins ended a nearly four-minute scoring drought with a 3-pointer from the right wing. The Spartans scored nine straight points as part of a larger 23-7 run that lasted seven minutes. Bryant scored the last five of those points as NSU built its biggest lead of the half at 35-26.
The Spartans held DSU to 30 percent shooting in the first half to go into the locker room with a 37-29 advantage.
Myles Carter finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds, and Dominik Fragala also scored in double figures with 14.
NSU will again be on the road next weekend, this time taking on Coppin State next Saturday and Sunday. Both games begin at 1 p.m. at CSU’s Physical Education Complex.