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Norfolk St. beats Morgan St., back in NCAAs after nine years

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Joe Bryant scored 17 factors and Kashaun Hicks added 14, together with a pair of clinching dunks, as Norfolk State defeated Morgan State 71-63 on Saturday in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship recreation to earn its first NCAA Tournament bid in nine years.

Norfolk State (16-7) claimed its second MEAC title in 5 championship-game appearances. Its different title got here in 2012 when it went on to beat No. 2 seed Missouri in the NCAA Tournament earlier than dropping to No. 7 Florida. This is the primary NCAA berth underneath eighth-year coach Robert Jones.

Bryant scored 10 straight factors in a run that gave the Spartans a double-figures lead that ultimately reached 16 factors and lasted till there have been three minutes remaining. The Bears (14-8) received as shut as six with 30.6 seconds left earlier than Hicks sandwiched a pair of dunks round Morgan State’s ultimate bucket to make sure the Spartans’ seventh straight win.

Devante Carter added 12 factors, seven rebounds, 5 assists, three steals and two blocks for Norfolk State.

Hicks had 3-pointer and layup to start out 8-0 run for a 10-point lead with three minutes left in half. De’Torrion Ware responded with 4 factors in a 6-0 run however a 3-pointer from Kyonze Chavis gave the Spartans 37-30 halftime lead.

Ware, who scored 35 and 29 factors in Morgan State’s two match wins, completed with 16 factors. Lagio Grantsaan added 13 factors. The Bears made solely 3 of 17 from the arc, lacking all seven of their second-half makes an attempt, and simply 16 of 25 free throws. They had 18 turnovers, solely three greater than the Spartans, however received the worst of it in phrases of factors off these errors (24-10).

Norfolk State held Morgan State’s league-leading scoring offense to just about 18 factors underneath its common

With this win, the Spartans defeated the Bears 4 occasions this season. The MEAC break up into two divisions due to the pandemic and groups solely performed inside their division, ensuing in Norfolk State and Morgan State dealing with off in 4 regular-season video games. The Spartans and Bears had been the second and third seeds, respectively, out of the North Division.

Morgan State performed in its third recreation in three days whereas Norfolk performed its second match recreation after its semifinal opponent, North Carolina A&T, needed to withdraw after a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at inside its program.

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