NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Playing right down road from his alma mater, Norfolk’s Steven Whitley had 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists Monday night and No. 5 seed Norfolk State beat 12th-seeded Maryland-Eastern Shore 78-68 in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Spartans (14-18) advanced to face No. 4 seed North Carolina A&T in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Eastern Shore (7-25) had a late rally with nine straight points to close the deficit to 70-60, but the Spartans answered with five quick points and kept the lead in double digits.
Norfolk State opened the game on a 14-3 run and led by at least nine until Eastern Shore went on a 9-3 run to close to 32-27 with 1:12 left in the half. But the Spartans closed with the final five points of the half and, before the midpoint of the second half, had a 15-4 run to pull away to a 57-39 lead.
Derrik Jamerson Jr. added 15 points, Kyle Williams scored 13, and Alex Long and Mastadi Pitt chipped in 12 apiece for Norfolk State.
Hampton’s Cameron Bacote (Bethel High School) and Logan McIntosh had 14 points each and Miryne Thomas had 12 points and 14 boards for Eastern Shore.