Still fuming from its 17-point blowout loss three weeks at home to Morgan State, Norfolk State took out its frustrations in the rematch with a 64-53 win Saturday in Baltimore.
The two teams came into the game tied for second place in the MEAC standings, but the victory by the Spartans (13-10 overall, 7-2) moved them into sole possession of the No. 2 spot behind overall leader North Carolina Central (7-1).
Norfolk State was led by a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds from guard Pendarvis Williams, who helped the Spartans jump out to a 28-23 halftime lead, thanks to a 10-minute stretch during which Morgan State failed to hit a field goal and scored its only points from the foul line, with Norfolk State never looking back after that.
The lead grew to nine points with 15 minutes left, then 15 points with under 10 minutes to go in the second half, and the Spartans ran away from there for a big revenge victory.
Morgan State’s win Jan. 18 at Joseph Echols Hall not only snapped the Spartans’ six-game win streak in their rivalry with the Bears, it ended Norfolk State’s 23-game MEAC win streak dating back to last season. But Saturday, the Bears went back to being dominated in the series by the Spartans, who now lead the all-time series by a lopsided 33-12 mark.
Spartans center Brandon Goode added 14 points and six rebounds, while forward RaShid Gaston chipped in 11 points and guard Jamel Fuentes notched 10 points and eight assists in the victory.
Morgan State (8-13, 6-3) was led by guard Justin Black, the MEAC’s No. 3 scorer, with 16 points and six rebounds, while center Ian Chiles posted a double-double in the loss with 15 points and 10 boards.
Next up for Norfolk State is Monday at home against Howard, marking the Spartans’ first home game after a four-game road trip. Morgan State hits the road for its next game Monday at Coppin State.
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