NORFOLK, Va. – Two teams looking to climb back into the MEAC race meet this Saturday, Jan 16, in Durham, N.C., as Norfolk State travels to face North Carolina Central. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. inside McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.
The Spartans are seeking to break their 15-game losing streak dating to the end of last season, while the Eagles have dropped two in a row and seven of eight.
Scouting NSU: Norfolk State sprinted out to a big early lead, but visiting Bethune-Cookman gradually rallied and eventually pulled out a 53-45 MEAC victory over the Spartans on Monday night at Echols Hall. NSU played perhaps its finest quarter of the season in the opening period Monday, jumping out to an 18-2 lead. But the Wildcats outscored NSU 24-8 in the second period to force a tie going into the half.
There were six lead-changes in the final stanza. NSU wing Alexys Long canned a 3-pointer with 4:28 left to give the Spartans their final lead of the night, at 45-43. But those proved to be NSU’s final points. Kendra Cooper hit a trey less than a minute later to give B-CU the lead for good as the Wildcats outscored NSU 10-0 over the final 3:31.
Beslow and Kayla Roberts had eight points and nine rebounds to lead NSU.
Scouting NCCU: North Carolina Central dropped to 2-12 overall and 1-3 in the MEAC after a 57-39 loss at Savannah State on Monday night. NCCU shot just 33 percent from the floor and committed 23 turnovers in the loss. Morgan Jones scored 11 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Lady Eagles. Kristin Askew contributed 10 points in the loss, while Tyshay Britten had nine rebounds and blocked five shots off the bench.
NCCU’s two victories this season came over Furman (66-61 on Jan. 4) and UMES (49-46 on Dec. 5). Jones (10.5) and Tisha Dixon (10.4) are the double-figure scorers for the Eagles, who were picked to finish 12th in the preseason MEAC poll.
All-Time Series vs. NCCU: Norfolk State leads the all-time series with NCCU, 18-6. The Spartans won last year’s only meeting, 82-58, on Jan. 17, 2015 at Echols Hall. The teams went 11 years without playing each other after NSU’s move to Division I in 1997. The Eagles are 4-2 against NSU since the series resumed in the 2007-08 season.
This and That: Some recent statistical trends and notes for the Spartan women:
• The Spartan defense has yielded over 80 points in six games this year now, after FAMU scored 83 last Saturday. NSU bounced back defensively by allowing a season-low 53 points on Monday to Bethune-Cookman.
• NSU held the Wildcats to two first-quarter points Monday, fewest by an NSU opponent this year.
• The Spartans had a season-high 11 steals in the loss to B-CU, with the starting five of Basey, Hannah, Lawrence, Roberts and Beslow accounting for 10 of those. Roberts had three, giving her seven in the last two games.
• The B-CU game marked the second time in three games that NSU did not have a double-figure scorer. Kayla Roberts and Siobhan Beslow led NSU with eight points each.
• The Spartans shot a season-high 72.7 percent (16-22) from the free-throw line and committed a season-low 12 turnovers against the Rattlers.
• Kiara Phillips reached double digits in scoring for the second time as a Spartan last Saturday. In her second start of the year, Phillips notched 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting in a season-high 29 minutes played.
Originally posted on NSUSpartans.com