Title image via Niya Grant
Courtesy of Alex Lehmbeck, Asst. SID, Norfolk State Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State men’s basketball opened the new year in commanding fashion, dominating both ends of the floor in an 85-60 win over Penn State Wilkes-Barre at Echols Hall on Wednesday. The Spartans improved to 10-5 on the season heading into conference play.
Kris Bankston led the Spartans with an extremely efficient 20-point performance, making eight of his nine shot attempts. Joe Bryant Jr. followed closely behind at 19 points, while Cahiem Brown pulled in a team-high 8 rebounds.
Daryl Anderson set the tone early with a deep 3-pointer on the game’s first possession, knocking down another just a few minutes later from the corner. The junior forward finished the night with 16 points, drilling four shots from behind the arc.
Back-to-back Bryant 3-pointers pushed the Spartans ahead by 16, and he would sink one more within a couple of minutes. He led the Spartans with 13 points in the first half, taking a 40-21 advantage into the break.
Anderson’s 3-point barrage continued in the second half, combined with Dana Tate Jr. finding his rhythm from deep. The Spartans’ lead reached 30 points in no time.
Bankston notched his first dunk of the night with under eight minutes to play, but it was far from his last. Nobody could stop the forward from getting to the rim, stuffing down multiple powerful slams in the second half, including a 360 on the fast break.
As a team, the Spartans shot a productive 30-of-54 from the field (55.6 percent), making 11-of-24 attempts from behind the arc (45.8 percent). Penn State Wilkes Barre hit 10 3-pointers of its own, helping the Mountain Lions keep NSU’s lead from increasing significantly in the second half.
The result marked Norfolk State’s 18thstraight victory at home, fifth of the 2022-23 season. The Spartans will look to keep that streak alive on Saturday, facing Maryland Eastern Shore at 4 p.m. in the team’s first MEAC matchup of the season.
Next Game: Maryland Eastern Shore 1/7/2023 | 4 p.m. WNSB 91.1 FM