Norfolk State’s second road game of the 2014-15 season ended up similar to its first. It wasn’t quite the 28-point humbling received from Virginia nine days ago, but the Spartans were defeated 63-53 by Vanderbilt on Tuesday at Memorial Gym in Nashville.
After Norfolk State (2-3) jumped out to an early 9-5 lead, Vanderbilt (4-0) began taking command by going on a 15-2 run to go ahead 20-11. The Spartans got back to within three points before the Commodores finished the first half on a 15-3 run and led 38-23 at halftime. Vanderbilt only shot 32 percent from the floor during the second half, but its lead remained in double figures throughout the final 20 minutes of play.
A key part to the Commodores’ success Tuesday was their 3-point shooting, as they shot 41 percent from behind the arc. The freshmen trio of Riley LaChance, Matthew Fisher-Davis and Wade Baldwin IV accounted for eight of the nine 3-pointers Vanderbilt made on the evening. Baldwin IV scored a team-high 13 points, while LaChance had 12 points and Fisher-Davis finished with 11 points.
Norfolk State’s bright spot on the night was junior guard D’Shon Taylor, who shot 9-of-11 from the foul line and finished with game highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward Malik Thomas had 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting for the Spartans while dealing with foul trouble for most of the second half.
Now having fulfilled its road game requirements for the Barclays Center Classic, Norfolk State will travel to Jersey City, N.J., for a pair of contests this holiday weekend. The first game takes place Friday against St. Francis (N.Y.).
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