MEAC / Spartan Women / Sports

Roberts’ monster night helps NSU snap 17-game skid against Hampton, 71-66 in OT


Kayla Roberts

Kayla Roberts

NORFOLK, Va. – Kayla Roberts registered career highs of 26 points and 25 rebounds to lead the Norfolk State women’s basketball team to its first win over rival Hampton in more than eight years Saturday, 71-66 in overtime before a season-high crowd of 2,496 at Echols Hall.

Roberts outscored Hampton by herself in the OT, accounting for five of the Spartans’ six points in the extra session. NSU (7-13, 6-3 MEAC), which snapped a 17-game losing streak to the Lady Pirates (10-11, 6-2), held Hampton without a field goal in the extra session.

Hampton guard Malia Tate-DeFreitas hit a free throw with 3:24 left in OT to give Hampton a 66-65 edge. Roberts answered with a layup 23 seconds later to give the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish. She then sealed it by going 2-of-2 from the line with 16 seconds left, giving NSU a four-point lead at 70-66.

The Lady Pirates, who shot 29.4 percent from the floor for the game, went 0-of-7 in the overtime.

Hampton led the entire first half, scoring the game’s first nine points. The Lady Pirates led by as many as 10 points in the first half on three different occasions. But NSU went on an 8-0 run late in the half to set the tone for the rest of the game. Roberts scored the first six points in the spurt on two free throws and a pair of field goals inside. Amber Brown then scored off an assist from Corbo to cut Hampton’s lead to 34-32. The Lady Pirates carried a 38-35 advantage into the locker room.

Kyani White and Tate-DeFreitas scored the first two field goals of the second half to push Hampton’s lead to seven. But the Spartans answered with a 14-2 run over the next six and a half minutes to take their first lead of the game. Roberts hit 3-pointers 1:10 apart, the first of which tied the game at 44 and the second of which gave NSU a 47-44 edge with 13:41 left. A jumper by Brown gave NSU a five-point cushion.

With the Spartans still up five (52-47), Hampton regained the lead thanks to a 7-0 burst, capped by a Ryan Jordan free throw that put the Lady Pirates up 54-52.

Neither team led by more than two in the final four minutes of regulation, which featured four ties. NSU took a 63-61 lead on two Corbo free throws with 1:13 left. Brielle Ward answered with a tying layup for Hampton eight seconds later. Corbo swung the momentum back in the Spartans’ favor with a baseline jumper with 45 seconds remaining, but Tate-DeFreitas knotted the score at 65-all on a short jumper in the lane with 28 seconds left to play.

Both teams had chances to win it at the end. Ward thwarted NSU’s chance by blocking Corbo’s jumper with 13 seconds left. At the other end, Tate-DeFreitas misfired on a layup but Ward rebounded and was fouled with three seconds left.

But Ward missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity, and Jazamine Gray rebounded for NSU to send the game into overtime.

Corbo added 22 points for NSU. Koryn Lawrence chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds. Gray paced the Spartans with seven assists, while Dominique Harper had four points and three steals off the bench.

But the star was Roberts. She registered the first 25-point, 25-rebound for the Spartans in more than 25 years, since Stephanie Palmer had 31 points and 26 rebounds against Johnson C. Smith on Dec. 7, 1989. The 25 rebounds as the second-most in NSU’s Division I era behind Rachel Gordon‘s 26 against Texas-Pan American on Nov. 29, 2013.

Tate-DeFreitas and White scored 22 points apiece for Hampton. But Tate-DeFreitas, the MEAC’s leading scorer by a hair over Corbo, shot just 8-of-32.

NSU is off for a week before hosting Howard at 4 p.m. next Saturday, Feb. 7



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