NORFOLK, Va. – Maryland Eastern Shore used its assertiveness down low to pull away in the second half in an 82-64 victory over the Norfolk State men’s basketball team on Monday night at Joseph Echols Hall.
The Hawks broke NSU’s five game win streak thanks to their prowess on the glass. UMES outscored the Spartans by 19 in the second half and held a huge edge in second-chance points, 26-6. NSU shot less than 40 percent for the game in falling to 9-2 in the MEAC and 16-10 overall.
UMES, meanwhile, improved to 14-12 overall and 7-4 in conference play.
The Spartans led by as much as 12 in the first half, but UMES eventually cut the deficit to just one at intermission. With 16:15 on the clock, Devon Walker drained a 3-pointer for UMES, beginning a 22-4 run that put the game of the reach. NSU trailed by at least 12 the rest of the way.
Despite the loss, the Spartans maintained a two-game lead for second place in the conference following Howard’s loss to Hampton on Monday. Aside from league-leader North Carolina Central, no other school has less than four losses on the season.
UMES hit 48.3 percent (28-of-58) overall, including 8-of-22 from 3-point range. The Hawks were led by Devin Martin with 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting and seven boards. Walker added 15 points, while Michael Myers totaled 18 points on 7-of-11 shots with 13 rebounds.
The Hawks finished with a 38-26 edge on the glass and also turned 17 offensive rebounds into those 26 second-chance points. NSU came into the contest averaging better than seven points in the paint more than the opposition, but UMES outscored NSU 36-28 in that category on the night.
UMES won in Norfolk for the first time in 11 games, dating back to the 2001-02 season.
The Spartans shot 22-of-56 (39.3 percent) overall for the game.
NSU got off to a fast start, as Gaston converted a pair of 3-point plays and junior D’Shon Taylor hit two 3-pointers to give the Spartans a 12-2 lead less than three minutes into the game. Gaston hit a jumper and 1-of-2 from the line to push the lead to 11, 15-4, at the 14:32 mark.
A layup from freshman Zaynah Robinson gave NSU its largest lead of the half at 20-8, but the Hawks made 5-of-6 from the line at the start of a 10-0 run.
UMES never got the lead or even tied it up in the first stanza, but Dominique Elliott hit 1-of-2 from the line and had a tip-in as time ticked down to cut the Spartan lead to 37-36 at the half.
Elliott, who had 11 points on the night, made three more buckets within the first two and a half minutes of the second half to put the Hawks ahead. Short hit a jumper and a fastbreak layup to give NSU the lead momentarily at 43-42, but UMES began its huge run less than a minute later and never looked back.
The Spartans outscored UMES 10-2 in fastbreak points and also had a 7-2 edge in blocks.
NSU will hit the road for a Saturday afternoon contest at Morgan State beginning at 4 p.m.