WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Norfolk State men’s basketball team proved the adage that it’s not how you start that counts, it’s how you finish.
The Spartans fell behind early, but they finished the game scoring 24 of the final 26 points and Willliam & Mary missed 14 of its last 15 shots as they picked up a big, regional road win Saturday, 67-53.
Joe Bryant Jr. led all scorers with 24 points, while Christian Ings added 12 and George Beale Jr. 10 – 9 in the second half – and Chris Ford had a career-high seven blocked shots to pace Norfolk State (6-4), which beat the Tribe for the second-straight season.
Anders Nelson led William & Mary (4-7) with 17 points, 15 of those coming in the first half. Freshman Jack Karasinski added 10 points and Gabe Dorsey had eight, all in the first half before getting into foul trouble.
The Spartans trailed 51-43 with 8:42 remaining when they went on their 24-2 run, making nine of their final 13 shots. The Tribe didn’t make another field goal.
Norfolk State also held a 42-28 rebounding edge.
William & Mary started strong, hitting three 3-pointers to race out to a 9-2 lead. The Tribe hit six 3-pointers in the first half, led by Nelson.
Bryant tried to match the pace, hitting four 3-pointers in the first half as he scored 14 of his 24 points.
With Norfolk State still down nine midway through the second half, Beale scored on a fast break dunk, then got a second-chance layup and hit a 3-pointer to get the team within three points. A Bryant 3-pointer tied the game, and then Ford’s basket put the Spartans ahead.
Ings and Bryant hit mid-range jumpers and Ings scored again on the fastbreak, putting Norfolk State up nine with three minutes left.
The Spartans held off the Tribe, as the home side did not make a field goal in the final 8:42, scoring just two points overall in that span.
Norfolk State next plays Wednesday at home against Bowling Green, while William & Mary doesn’t play again until Dec. 18, when it travels to Maryland-Baltimore County.