NORFOLK, Va. – White defeated Green 41-34 in a full 20-minute half of men’s basketball to conclude Spartan Madness at Joseph Echols Hall on Saturday evening.
Approximately 1,300 fans got their first glimpse of both Norfolk State basketball teams, and the men did not disappoint in their intrasquad scrimmage at the end. Playing a full half of basketball, complete with timeouts and clock stoppages, the two teams combined for 75 points.
Returning two players who scored in doubles figures in seniors Jeff Short and D’Shon Taylor – but also the only returners to average at least three points a game – NSU enters the 2015-16 season in need of complimentary scoring. They certainly got it on Saturday, as senior Charles Oliver led White and all players with 13 points.
Short scored 12 for Green, while senior Kerwin Okoro, sitting out the season as a Division I transfer, added 11 points for White. Taylor and freshman forward Alex Long each finished with eight points in just one half of play.
Taylor also doubled as the slam dunk champion, receiving all 10’s in his first dunk of the night and holding off a challenge from Long as well as junior Brian Kelley.
White earned the win in the scrimmage thanks to a 14-4 start, with five points from Okoro during that run. Sophomore Devonte Banner hit a 3-pointer for Green, and Long drained a trey from the top of the key to make it 14-12. Okoro answered with a 3, and Kelly completed a 3-point play to give White an eight point edge.
Short got Green to within three on a 3-pointer with 9:43 on the clock, but White used a 13-2 run to jump ahead. Oliver had three layups during that time, including the last at 5:29 when he got the ball around the outstretched arm of his defender. Green twice cut the deficit to five late in the game but was unable to get any closer.
Kelley and freshman Moses Toriola each had five points for White, while sophomore Jordan Butler also scored five for Green. Junior Jonathan Wade (four points) and Banner (three points) rounded out the scoring for Green.
The Spartan women played a 15-minute, running clock intrasquad scrimmage earlier in the night, with four different players each tallying six points. Sophomore Kayla Roberts and junior Kiara Phillips each had six to lead Gold to a 21-18 win over Green.
Unlike the men’s scrimmage, neither women’s team could get much of a lead. Green actually led by four at 12-8 on a layup by Lawrence. Roberts hit a free throw a few minutes later as Gold took the lead back, but a layup by Spicer and a runner in the lane from freshman Yazmen Hannah put Green back on top.
Phillips sank a pair of free throws with less than two minutes to go to finish a short 6-0 run for Gold, which held on for the win. JuniorDominique Harper and sophomore Shayla Tanner had five and four points, respectively, for Gold. Along with Hannah’s bucket, Green also got four points from senior transfer Siobhan Beslow.
In the 3-point shooting contests, Phillips defeated Hannah by a 5-4 score to win the women’s crown, which only featured one round. On the men’s side, Banner knocked off Short by a 14-11 score, and Oliver defeated Wade, 14-13, to win the other semifinal. Banner then overcame a five-bucket deficit to win 10-9 over Oliver in the final.
The night also featured spotlight entrances of both teams and coaching staffs, including a dance-off between men’s head coachRobert Jones and the men’s players, specifically sophomore Zaynah Robinson. There were also 3-point shooting contests involving regular students and performances by NSU cheerleaders and a pair of dance troupes.
One lucky fan also had a chance to win $50,000 in a shooting contest that involved sinking a layup, free throw, 3-pointer and half-court shot. She was unable to get past the free throw line, however.
The NSU women will begin their season on Nov. 13 at home against USC Upstate, while the men play at South Carolina on Nov. 14 in their first regular season contest.
Originally posted on NSUSpartans.com | Used with permission