NORFOLK, Va. (Release via NSU Athletics)   Three Norfolk State University women’s basketball players scored in double figures as the Spartans rolled past Chicago State, 86-53, on Tuesday night at the Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall.

Norfolk State (12-3), returned from the 10-day layoff, and showed absolutely no rust as the Spartans led 38-28 at the half, before using a 27-4 run over the first seven minutes of the third quarter to pull away from Chicago State

Deja Francis paced NSU with 23 points, including eight free throws, with five assists, five steals and grabbed a pair of rebounds. Kierra Wheeler just missed a double-double, with 12 points, eight boards, two blocked shots, one assist and one steal. Camille Downs registered 11 points, eight boards, two steals and one assist.

Janiah Newell led Chicago State with 14 points, along with three rebounds and a pair of assists. Ahlea Myers registered 12 points, two rebounds, one assists and one steal.

The Spartans raced out to a 13-2 lead to open the game after a layup by Downs with just over six minutes left in the first quarter.

Norfolk State quickly extended the margin to 21-7 after a layup by back-to-back layups by Wheeler with 2:56 remaining. 

Chicago State (0-19) used a 10-4 run over the final two-minutes minutes, closing the deficit to 25-17 at the end of the first period.

The Spartans opened the second just as hot as the first period, using an 11-3 run, capped by an Alana Swift jumper, pushing the NSU advantage to 36-20 with 4:02 remaining.

The Cougars, on the heels of a 8-2 run, trimmed the margin to 38-28 right before the half.

Norfolk State began the third period on fire, using a commanding 27-4 run, while holding Chicago State to just one field goal during the first seven minutes, stretching the the advantage to 65-33.

The Spartans continued their dominance throughout the period, taking a 71-35 into the final quarter.

Chicago State outscored NSU in the final period, 18-15, but could not mount a comeback as the Spartans eased into conference play with the victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS 

  • Norfolk State shot 46.5 percent (33-of-71) from the floor and 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the free-throw line
  • Francis recorded 23 points, with five assists, five steals and grabbed a pair of rebounds
  • Wheeler chipped in 12 points, eight boards, two blocked shots, one assist and one steal
  • Downs registered 11 points, eight boards, two steals and one assist.
  • The Spartans finished with 48 points in the paint, 30 points off 29 Chicago State turnovers, 29 bench points, 23 second-chance points and 14 fast break points
  • Chicago State went 17-of-56 shooting (30.4 percent) and 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe
  • Janiah Newell tallied 14 points, along with three rebounds and a pair of assists
  • Ahlea Myers registered 12 points, two rebounds, one assists and one steal.
  • The Cougars finished with 25 bench points, 18 points in the paint, nine second-chance points, seven points off of 18 Norfolk State turnovers and fast break points

UP NEXT 
Norfolk State opens up Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play on Saturday as the Spartans play host to Maryland Eastern Shore. Tip-off against the Hawks is set for 2 p.m. from Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall.