Women’s basketball: Downs scores 22 in Spartans’ eighth-straight win

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Camille Downs had 22 points, four steals and two rebounds to lead Norfolk State to its eighth-straight win and its best 10-game start in the program’s Division I history in a 71-64 win Saturday over NJIT at Echols Hall.

The Spartans are 9-1 for the first time since they began playing Division I.

Deja Francis (15 pts.) and Kierra Wheeler (14 pts.) made big shots in the second half. Makoye Diawara led the Spartans with seven rebounds.

The Spartans were strong at the line, making 11-of-12 in the first half and when it needed to hold on, made 7-of-11 in the fourth quarter. Norfolk State shot 43.1% from the field (25-of-58) but just 21.4% from behind the arc (3-of-14).

The Spartans scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to take control of the game and extend their lead to 13 points.

Da’naijah Williams had a steal and score in the final minute of a terrific stretch by the Spartans, before NJIT’s Trinity Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to eight heading into the fourth quarter, The Highlanders got within one possession midway through the fourth quarter, but Norfolk State used its inside game to stave off NJIT.

The Spartans next play at Old Dominion Dec. 11.