Photo via: @HBCUSports1

Norfolk State Spartans win MEAC Tournament; Clinch NCAA Tournament berth

For just the second time in their school’s history, the Norfolk State Spartans will play in the NCAA Tournament after securing a 71-63 win over the Morgan State Bears in the MEAC Tournament final. This is their second MEAC Championship with their first coming in 2012.

After trading the lead back and forth in the game’s opening minutes, the Spartans went on a 20-9 run to take a 34-24 lead with three minutes to go in the first half.

Joe Bryant caught fire for the Spartans to start the second half scoring 10 of his team’s 12 points in the first five minutes of the half. Norfolk State continued to build momentum pushing the lead to as high as 16 points. This peaked with 12 minutes to go in the game as they led 58-42.

Morgan State fought to get back in the game cutting the deficit to six points but in the end, it was not enough.

Norfolk State was led by Joe Bryant who scored 17 points in the game with 13 points coming in the second half alone while Kashaun Hicks finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Devante Carter made a huge impact for the Spartans on both ends of the floor-filling out the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Meanwhile, Morgan State was led by De’Terrion Ware off the bench recording 16 points, five rebounds, and two steals.

In Norfolk State’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012, they pulled an upset beating the two-seeded Missouri Tigers 86-84 in the first round. At the time, this made them one of only five teams to win a game in the NCAA Tournament as a 15-seed (three more teams have since accomplished this feat).

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