NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – Norfolk State had one of its biggest wins ever in MEAC play, and the result on Senior Night gave the Spartan men’s basketball team no worse than a share of the Northern Division title.
Junior Jalen Hawkins led four Spartans in double figures with a career-high tying 17 points as NSU cruised to an 86-55 win over the Hornets on Wednesday evening at Joseph Echols Hall. The Spartans closed out their conference schedule at 8-4 after posting their fourth-biggest win ever in a MEAC game.
The Spartans now sit two games ahead of both Morgan State and Coppin State (6-4 each) in the division. CSU has two games left this weekend at Delaware State, while MSU must still make up two games against the Hornets that were postponed last weekend.
Norfolk State shot 50 percent for the evening, nearly 59 percent in the second half, and sank nine 3-pointers. The Spartans forced DSU into 28 turnovers, including 20 in the first half, while scoring 24 fastbreak points and 33 points off turnovers.
NSU won MEAC regular season titles in 2012-13 and 2018-19. This was the first year since the Spartans joined the league that it split into divisions.
They never looked back after a 16-0 run in the first half, a spurt that lasted more than five and a half minutes. NSU was up by 14 after that, and the lead inched closer to 20 after two 3-pointers from senior Mustafa Lawrence.
Hawkins hit one of his own late in the half as they went into the intermission holding a 16-point lead, 41-25. The second half went much the same way.
It didn’t take long for the Spartan advantage to get past 20 after another senior, Kashaun Hicks, knocked down a long range shot early in the second half. Junior Chris Ford scored five straight points to make it 60-32 seven and a half minutes into the period, while an 11-3 run pushed their lead to 31 with eight minutes left in the game.
Senior Devante Carter later scored six in a row for the largest lead of the evening at 34 points, 83-49. He finished the game with 16 points, six steals and four assists. Ford and senior Kyonze Chavis each had 10 points, and Chavis led the Spartans with seven rebounds.
Lawrence (eight points), Hicks (seven points) and NSU’s sixth senior, J.J. Matthews (eight points, six rebounds) all got the starting nod along with Carter and Chavis. Senior Efstratios Kalogerias was inactive.
In addition to large advantages in points off turnovers (33-11) and fastbreak points (24-3), they also outscored DSU 42-22 in points in the paint.
Delaware State got 11 points from Myles Carter and Zach Kent, as the Hornets shot nearly 40 percent for the game but just 6-of-21 from deep.
NSU closes out the regular season on Sunday with a non-conference game against St. Mary’s College at 2 p.m. at Echols Hall.