Norfolk State tops Howard 79-74, Spartans in a 5-way for first place

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Alex Long and Preston Bungei each had a double-double on Monday night to help Norfolk State beat Howard 79-74 for its fifth win in a row and ninth in the last 10 games.

The Spartans (13-17, 11-4 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) moved into a three-way tie with Hampton and Bethune-Cookman atop the conference standings. Norfolk State hosts Hampton on Thursday in the regular-season finale and the Wildcats play at Florida A&M.

Dan Robinson, who scored eight of his 10 points after halftime, made a layup and Mastadi Pitt hit a 3-pointer to give Norfolk State a two-point lead with 12 minutes left. Howard’s RJ Cole made a layup about a minute later that made it 53-all, but Kyle Williams answered with a jumper before making a layup that capped a 9-3 spurt and the Spartans led the rest of the way. Zion Cousin’s made two free throws to trim the Bison deficit to 76-74 with 24 seconds to play, but Nic Thomas and Steven Whitley combined to make 3 of 4 free throws.

Charles Williams had a season-high 32 points and Cole scored 21 with seven assists and four steals for Howard (9-22, 6-9). Williams, a sophomore, has six career 30-plus point games including four this season.

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